A cross-section of hot Hooker at his prime with great solo performances and small combo recordings, when he was making sides exclusively for the black audience in the late 40s-early 50s.
Here is a new CD of vintage Hooker recordings culled from the private tape vaults of Bernie Besman and Joe Bihari. At this stage, you might think it safe to assume that there is nothing left unissued from Hooker's early years in Detroit. Wrong! Ace researcher, the intrepid Ray Topping, has put together a release that combines classic early Hooker recordings many of which have never been available on CD before together with a total of FIVE previously unissued recordings.
From April 1950 comes a previously unheard version of Hooker's blues smash I'm In The Mood which features John Lee playing harmonica! Hooker admitted to Jim & Amy O'Neal in an interview for Living Blues Magazine many moons ago, "I used to blow harmonica, yeah! I'm a Little Walter freak, I used to play all the time, but I quit." Here is the recorded evidence, the only known recording featuring Hooker on harmonica! This CD also includes, released for the first time, alternate recordings of Numbers Blues, House Rent Boogie,
Build Myself A Cave, Key To The Highway and I Got Eyes For You. A total of 24 tracks featuring Hooker solo, also with Little Eddie Kirkland on second guitar and vocals and in full flight rockin' out hard with his combo, the Boogie Ramblers!
By Ted Carroll