John Lee Hooker - Mr. Lucky
Classic Records/Charisma Records
Artist: John Lee Hooker (DAD 1007)
Title: Mr. Lucky
Label: Classic Records/Charisma Records (www.classicrecords.com)
Format: Digital Audio Disc-DVD CD (24/96 "Master Tape Sound")
Imagine being a blues legend and having guests like Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, John Hammond, Booker T. Jones, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Robert Cray, and Keith Richards showing up in the studio to play on your album? Such was the life of John Lee Hooker. He really was "Mr. Lucky" when he laid down the tracks for this album. You couldn't expect anything but the best blues from John Lee, and with the addition of all the other legends to the mix it sounds that much more extraordinary. This made for one incredible session that stands as a definitive moment in the history of the blues. The shot of Hooker on the cover of this CD is one of the most memorable and classic poses I have ever seen of him. And the music is just incredible, how could it not be with a lineup like the one Hooker put together? That coupled with the DAD format and you have one potent combination of all-star talent and sound.
I didn't even have to look at the name of the seventh track 'Strip Me Naked' and see that the guest was Santana. He is one of those rare talents that you can pick out from hundreds of guitar players. His sound is all his own, much like his friend and mentor Mr. Hooker. You can tell that all the artists that participate on this album hold each other in high regard. Hooker seems to find the right groove on each and every song with each individual artist. No doubt this was a magical time in Hooker's career as well as for those that joined him.
This album was originally released on the Charisma Label in 1991 and then again in 1998 by Classic Records. The polish and production of this release takes some of the gruffness out of Hooker's vocals, he never sounded better. Of course Hooker's voice is what separated him from all the others and it made him unique. Because of the 24/96 Master Tape Sound the clarity of sound and instrument separation is dazzling. I would love to see 'The Healer' released in this format. That release has a star studded lineup as well with John Lee.
The blues doesn't get any better than this honey child and neither does the sound. This CD is ten tracks of all Hooker and all blues. If you have this album in your collection now and haven't heard this version you owe it to yourself to hear this. This is how all music should be recorded. Don't you think you deserve to hear some musical perfection? If you love music like I do its well worth the indulgence. Go ahead…indulge.
1. I Want To Hug You
2. Mr. Lucky
4. This Is Hip
5. I Cover The Waterfront
7. Strip Me Naked
9. Crawlin' Kingsnake
10. Father Was A Jockey