CAPITOL BLUES #8: JOHN LEE HOOKER Alternative Boogie: Early Studio Recordings, 1948-52 (1995)

Alternative Boogie: Early Studio Recordings, 1948-52 (1995)
The Birth Of A Legend

No introduction necessary. Early recordings that went unreleased for decades until John Lee Hooker’s late 60s/early 70s resurgence. This is the raw stuff, the roots of a rhythmically intoxicating, patented boogie style that would remain vital to this day – featuring little more than just John Lee, a guitar and a bad attitude. There are additional musicians on some of these tracks, but they’re largely resigned to the background, way behind Hook’s noisy percussive strumming and relentlessly stomping feet. Three discs, 56 tracks and alternate takes. Be aware that this material can often resemble field recordings compared to Hooker’s later, well-known work, but it might be all the more authentic as a result. Not to mention the politically-, socially- and seven-ways-til-Sunday incorrect, “I’m Gonna Whip Ya Baby.” Thanks again to ARTKoen for the .pdf liner notes. We’ve got more releases in The Capitol Blues Series, HERE. Alternative Boogie: Early Studio Recordings, 1948-52 is expensive at Amazon, HERE.

Come Back Baby
Forgive Me
Streets Is Filled With Women
Moon Is Rising
Whistle Done Blown
Turnin‘ Gray Blues
She Was In Chicago
Lord Taketh My Baby Away
Just Like A Woman
Throw This Old Dog A Bone
Johnny Lee’s Mood
Miss Eloise, Miss Eloise
Crying All Night
Welfare Blues
Johnny Lee’s Original Boogie
She Left Me By Myself
Out The Door I Went
My Baby She’s Long And Tall

No Mortgage On My Soul
I Come To You Baby
I Rule My Den
The Great Disaster Of 1936
The Winding Highway
She Quit Me
How Long Can This Go On
Can I Say Hello
I Had A Dream
Me And A Woman
Throw My Money Around
Well I Got To Leave
I Gotta Be Comin‘ Back
I Don’t Be Welcome Here
Two Voice Original Mood
Three Voice Original Mood
Johnny Says Come Back
The Story Of A Married Woman
Snap Them Fingers Boogie

Lord What More Can I Do?
Baby Please Don’t Go
I’m Going Away
Hummin‘ The Blues
Johnny Lee And The Thing
Slow Down Your Chatter Baby
I Did Everything
Someone To Love – Take 1
Someone To Love – Take 2
There’s A Day Comin‘ Baby
I Was Beggin‘ My Baby
Nobody To Talk To Me
I’m Gonna Whip Ya Baby
It’s A Crime And A Shame
I Met The Grindin‘ Man
Louisiana Blues For You
Long, Long Way From Home
T.B.’s Killin‘ Me


  • W
    March 10, 2010 - 16:35 | Permalink

    Search HERE.

  • Pete
    March 11, 2010 - 15:52 | Permalink

    Thanks! John Lee is like the ocean, or a roaring fire — endlessly fascinating even as you sometimes have trouble noticing any difference at all. I can't think of anyone else (even Wolf) who is such a presence, or who so defines the concept of great-not-good, brilliant even when not conventionally competent.

  • Johnny Pierre
    March 11, 2010 - 18:02 | Permalink

    Thanks for the series of elemental Blues posts. It's always nice to touch home base once in awhile, eh?

  • MidnightRider
    March 11, 2010 - 18:06 | Permalink

    Thanks for the JLH … I remember seeing him when I was a teenager and being blown away. The opening band wasn't bad, either: Robert Cray on his 1st tour after releasing Bad Influence.

  • ksn
    March 11, 2010 - 19:33 | Permalink

    as my dad said to me when i was 15 and in full punk and hardcore mode (the 'trouble funk' post a while back was like coming home) – 'if you're serious about music, the blues will be precious to you, sooner or later.'
    you invariably put up gems, i've enjoyed this series immensely. thanks as always,

  • Anonymous
    March 11, 2010 - 23:37 | Permalink

    What a feast of choiciest blues -Thanks. The Cap'n !!


  • justin
    March 12, 2010 - 00:02 | Permalink

    A man can't be exposed to too much of Mr. Hooker, thanx for passing this on and for your words of wisdom.

  • Gummo
    March 12, 2010 - 02:24 | Permalink

    Thank you!

    Only saw Hooker once, at a big blues night at Madison Square Garden way back in '89. He was great, even in such a big place.

  • Muddy
    March 13, 2010 - 07:54 | Permalink

    This is my favorite period of Hooker. In 19983, I saw him in a small club in central Illinois, next to a cornfield. There were not many more than 100 people crowded in for the real stuff. Cookin' with the Hook. My grandmother gave me the ticket as a birthday present. Much better than another sweater.

  • Loren
    March 14, 2010 - 23:10 | Permalink

    I first heard John Lee Hooker "Doin' The Shout" on late night radio, and it literally took me a couple years to find out who it was, but once I did, I couldn't get enough (probably thirty or forty cds of his in my collection). Something about his boogie and the rumble in music that pulls me in. Thanks for reminding us of this great musician.

  • Bob
    October 29, 2011 - 11:39 | Permalink

    Thanks for this. Love it !

  • twofthrs
    March 6, 2015 - 18:37 | Permalink

    Saw the Hook at Reed College circa 1970. He came to the stage alone with a beat up guitar and a bottle in a paper bag. Blew us all away. What a performer. t

  • Gummo
    October 29, 2015 - 15:04 | Permalink

    A shortened version of CD 1 came out on vinyl back in the day — I found it in a bargain bin in the late 70s/early 80s — paid maybe $1.99 for it. What great stuff! So this is a discovery AND a rediscovery for me.

  • Supersonic75
    November 2, 2015 - 08:59 | Permalink

    Thanks for posting more of this great (and overlooked at the time?) series, and for including the PDF’s as well. Great stuff, Willard…

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