“KING OF THE BOOGIE”: 100 YEARS OF JOHN LEE HOOKER

POSTED SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2017 | BY RAMIRO ALEXANDER-DUCHESNE

As a Blues aficionado, I can tell you that there are three Blues musicians that every music enthusiast should know. I say that these three Blues musicians should be praised, not from a biased standpoint, but from an observant standpoint. The following three Blues musicians deserve many ‘thanks’ for their contribution to music.

 

The list of Blues musicians who deserve thanks is endless. The top three Blues musicians who deserve praise, however, are B. B. King, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker. B. B. King is the King of The Blues. With a career that spanned from 1948 to 2015, King made the greatest impact on music.

B. B. King went from sharecropping in Mississippi to being the most renowned Blues musician in the world. With the soft yet powerful, painfully gritty yet smooth sound of his guitar, Lucille, his most famous song “The Thrill Is Gone” from 1969, made a name for King that would last for decades to come. Before King passed away in 2015 at the age of 89, he had performed with a number of artists spanning across multiple genres, had acted in TV shows, and recorded some of the most well known Blues songs.

Muddy Waters began his career in 1949. Waters was the anti-hero of the music world. He embodied the Blues. He drank, he smoked, and he had a lot of women. Waters was rough and tough and his no nonsense attitude was projected into his music. Songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “I’m A Man” spoke to his hyper-masculine personality.

Throughout his career, Waters took the slide guitar sound of the Southern Delta Blues that was perfected by the great Robert Johnson and made it better. He electrified it. Muddy Waters took the traditional Delta Blues style and made it his own adding an amplifier, drums, bass, and of course the best harmonica player, Little Walter.

Last, but not least. The third Blues musician who deserves recognition, and is receiving quite a bit, is John Lee Hooker. Hooker is the undisputable King Of The Boogie. Hooker created music that not only allowed his listeners to wallow in their own sadness while listening to his Blues, but also allowed them to boogie to his upbeat tunes. August 22nd would have been Hooker’s 100th birthday. In honor of the late, great Blues musician, a centennial box set will be released on September 29th, 2017.

 

This box set, titled “King of the Boogie” will feature a slew of never before released tracks including three studio recorded tracks, as well as live versions of some of his most famous songs. Some of Hooker’s live performances feature fellow Blues musician B. B. King, the King of the Blues himself.

In addition to the never before released tracks, the “King of the Boogie” centennial box set also includes a 56-page book. This book includes pictures of John Lee Hooker with brand new liner notes from Hooker’s manager and Blues historians.

 

King, Waters, and Hooker deserve praise for their contribution to music. In their own way, the three aforementioned Blues musicians laid the foundation for Soul, R&B, Hip Hop and Rock and Roll. Hooker’s fast-paced songs helped usher music into a more upbeat direction.

 

In honor of John Lee Hooker’s contribution to music, and what would have been his 100th birthday, you’re all encouraged to listen to what is bound to be an awe inspiring collection of the King of the Boogie.

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