John Lee Hooker is a name synonymous with the blues. Just like B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins and many others, Hooker developed his own style that afforded him a special niche that has proven to be indestructible. Hooker is the author of the Detroit boogie blues sound.
Blues Kingpins explores the legend of Hooker and his early-recorded works. Trademark songs such as "Boogie Chillen" and "Queen Bee" are amongst the eighteen tracks of prime John Lee offered on this CD. Although this is not nearly enough to do the man’s legacy justice, that is not the intention of this release. The focus is the early formative years in the Blues Kingpin series, and every one of these CDs has done a fine job of showing how each artist developed their own particular sound and style. The liner notes are superb and the sound is remastered beautifully on this set.
The Hookman sure knew how to sing and hypnotize you with his boogie beat and unusual chord changes. Nobody sounded like him, and no one ever will. To hear how he started out makes all of his subsequent efforts clearer than ever before. I know I have already said this but I cannot emphasize it enough, I can’t think of a better blues series released in 2003 than this one.