Stomp Boogie

John Lee Hooker
FORMAT: Audio CD - 3 Disc
Release date: 4 May 2009

"Hookers early recordings really are an astonishing body of work. Unreservadly recommended by this reviewer"  BLUES & RHYTHM

CAT No: FVTD011UPC TEXT: 5055311000114

Full details

Blues superstar John Lee Hooker first developed his vocal and guitar style singing spirituals as a teenager in Clarksdale, Mississippi, but his stepfather was friends with touring pioneers such as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charley Patton; and it was their influence that initiated a lifelong love of the blues. After spells trying his luck in Memphis and Cincinnati, he settled in Detroit in 1943 mixing a succession of day jobs with performances of his early minimalist boogie in the city’s thriving clubs. He was first recorded in 1948 by local promoters Elmer Barbee and Bernie Besman, establishing his prototype – the over-amplified guitar, the moody boogies and stomping foot rhythms. Success came fairly quickly when some of his sides came out on the Modern label. Hooker cleverly employed a number of aliases to optimise the number of labels to which he was contracted, for example he was “Texas Slim” on King, “The Boogie Man” on Acorn and “John Lee Booker” on Chance and Chess. Many of those recordings are presented here, all with John Lee’s typical swagger and deep-throated voice and shards of explosive guitar.

Hooker moved on to Vee-Jay in 1955, where he came up with the most commercially-minded of his early efforts, often employing a rhythm section and R&B-influenced arrangements. Players on the sessions included Jimmy Reed on harmonica, Eddie Taylor on second guitar and Joe Hunter (later with Motown) on piano. John recorded prolifically for Vee-Jay in the succeeding years through to 1964. The seventies and eighties saw a series of albums which were more rock-influenced, often with guest-stars such as Carlos Santana and Van Morrison helping out. Hooker semi-retired in the nineties, but carried on recording until his death in 2001.

Stomp Boogie combines 70 recordings from Hooker’s early recording years cut locally in Detroit for a variety of labels including Sensation, King and Chess and also in Chicago for Vee-Jay. The tracks are presented in a 3 CD collection. Both collectors and fans of the later albums will appreciate the opportunity to acquire this selection from his forties and fifties classics. Hooker never significantly altered his style during his long career; these first recordings set the stage for all that came after, and he arguably never sounded fresher or better.



  1. Black Man Blues
  2. Poor Joe
  3. Shady Grove Blues
  4. Stomp Boogie
  5. Who's Been Jiving You
  6. I Had A Dream
  7. Miss Eloise
  8. Miss Lorraine
  9. Talkin' Boogie
  10. Do The Boogie
  11. Devil's Jump
  12. Nightmare Blues
  13. Don't Go Baby
  14. I'm Gonna Kill That Woman
  15. Moaning Blues
  16. The Numbers
  17. Wandering Blues
  18. Heart Trouble Blues
  19. Slim's Stomp
  20. Thinking Blues
  21. Mad Man Blues
  22. Boogie Now


  1. Decoration Day Blues
  2. Lord What More Can I Do
  3. Moon Is Rising
  4. The Story Of A Married Woman
  5. Throw This Old Dog A Bone
  6. Turnin' Gray Blues
  7. Welfare Blues
  8. High Priced Woman
  9. Union Station Blues
  10. Leave My Wife Alone
  11. Ramblin' By Myself
  12. Dreamin' Blues
  13. Just Me And My Telephone
  14. Walkin' The Boogie [alternate take]
  15. Sugar Mama
  16. Please Don't Go
  17. I Don't Want Your Money
  18. Hey Baby
  19. Bluebird
  20. Walkin' The Boogie
  21. Love Blues
  22. Lonely Boy Boogie
  23. Apologize
  24. The Journey


  1. Worried Life Blues
  2. Down At The Landing
  3. You Have Two Hearts
  4. It's My Own Fault
  5. Blues For Big Town
  6. Women And Money
  7. Big Fine Woman
  8. Love You Baby
  9. Blues For Christmas
  10. Cry Baby
  11. Time Is Marching
  12. Unfriendly Woman
  13. Wheel And Deal
  14. Baby Lee
  15. Dimples
  16. Every Night
  17. Trouble Blues
  18. Stop Talking
  19. I'm So Excited
  20. Everybody Rockin'
  21. I See You When You're Weak
  22. Little Wheel
  23. You Can Lead Me Baby
  24. I Love You Honey