Tuesday, October 1, 2013

John Lee Hooker Jr. “ Live in Istanbul Turkey” -- From the Archives #3



 
2010 - Cc Ent / Copycats
By Phillip Smith ; Oct. 30, 2010


Many times live CDs take the low road as studio recordings take the high road, in regards to quality and sound.  Recorded live at the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival, in Istanbul, Live in Istanbul Turkey, by John Lee Hooker Jr. definitely takes the high road and  proves a live CD can be as much rewarding, if not more, than its studio recorded counterpart.

Backed by a large entourage of musicians, which include a fantastic horn section, John Lee Hooker, Jr. offers up eleven original songs, and a couple of covers.  Those being, “Boom Boom“ and “Maudie”,  originally recorded by his father, the late John Lee Hooker.  Along side Hooker, on guitar, is Jeff Horan.  He plays with a certain precision sure to make Hooker Sr. proud. 

“Suspicious”, references mobile phones, McDonalds, and smoking crack as it deals with the paranoia associated with a cheating significant other.  It is cleverly written and a pleasure to listen to.   It’s hard to be paranoid without being easily irritated as well.  Hooker seems to be eaten up with bitterness, as he denounces the economy, bank foreclosures, and false friends, in another favorite original, “Fed Up”.

Hooker turns his frown upside down next, as he breaks out the funk on “Funky Funk”.  If this one sounds a bit familiar, it’s because he incorporates the chorus and other pieces from Rufus Thomas’s “Walking The Dog”.  It’s a fun song.  Paying homage to his father‘s classic, “Boogie Chillen”, Hooker Jr. serves up a tasty dish with  “Doin’ The Boogie”.  It lasts almost eleven minutes in length, and  showcases a solo performance by each musician on stage before turning into a tremendous jam session. 

It’s easy to mentally place oneself  on location, in Istanbul, at this concert, while listening to this disc.  The music is so enjoyable one could not help but want to have been there.  The enthusiasm on stage is electrical.  This is the magic that gives Live in Istanbul Turkey its appeal.

 

Rating =  4/5

http://www.johnleehookerjr.com/

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