Plays & Sings The Blues
Though already well-known among older blues fans, John Lee Hooker was an enigma when the folk boom of the early '60s first brought various blues legends back into the public ear. Chess Records played this up by releasing a number of "folk"-themed albums from its stable of artists, and this was Hooker's. Nowhere on the original album was there even a photo of him; the recordings revealed what the packaging didn't-that Hooker was one of the deepest blues artists ever. Even though this album doesn't contain any of Hooker's best known material, the set showcases Hooker's almost trance-like approach to the blues, especially on the slow blues numbers like "Please Don't Go," "The Journey," and "Mad Man Blues." This is primal, shockingly stark music created by one of the legends.