Saturday, February 17, 2018

#320 : Jane Lee Hooker - Spiritus


2017 – Ruf Records

By Phillip Smith; Feb. 17, 2018


There is no other band quite like New York City’s Jane Lee Hooker.  Much like the Rolling Stones, this rockin’ quintet, comprised of Dana “Danger” Athens on lead vocals/keys, guitarists Tracy “High Top” Almazan and Tina “T-Bone” Gorin, drummer Melissa “Cool Whip” Houston, and bassist “Hail Mary” Zadroga, has deep roots in the Blues.  Spiritus, their sophomore album is a ten-song mix of high-voltage rock and roll and blues deliciously delivered with a captivating and unbridled approach.  

An energetic shout-out to the famous Knucklehead Saloon in Kansas City nicely kicks things off in a southern rocker fashion for the opener “How Ya Doin’?”  “Gimme That” sweetly follows.  The swagger in Athens’ vocals is undeniable and that Stonesy riff sounds so good.  Living life to its fullest, taking charge and taking chances takes precedence in the passionately sung “Mama Said”. The dual guitars are terrific.   

Cool Whip and Hail Mary take no prisoners as they forge a raw and intense groove on Big Mama Thornton’s “Black Rat”.  This one is best served loud.  The energy of the band radiates through their ripping performance on Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’s 1961 jewel “Turn On Your Love Light”.  It is a pure delight indeed.  To wrap things up, Jane Lee Hooker beautifully winds Spiritus down with a wonderful ten minute dose of relaxing slow-cooked blues in “The Breeze” which certainly hits the spot.  I love every bit of it.

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In September of 2017, I caught Jane Lee Hooker at the Bowlful of Blues Festival in Newton, Iowa.  It was a terrific show.  The lineup was The Norman Jackson Band, Rob Lumbard, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Mato Nanji & Indiginous, with Jane Lee Hooker headlining.  I am so glad I took my camera and captured the event for my blog.  Here’s a link to the photos I took that day …  




Take a listen to the album on Apple Music, and if you decide to purchase it, use my special link.  This helps keep the PhillyCheeze site going.  



Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon store.