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John Lee Hooker

Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, 28 May 1998

THE ORIGINAL Mack Daddy, John Lee Hooker represents the funkiest lowdown essence of the blues. Born in the Mississippi Delta in 1917, Hooker was a player at nearly every stage of the music's progression. He cut electric blues for many labels — including Chicago's Chess imprint — during the early to mid-Fifties. He also became a staple on the coffeehouse circuit, playing unplugged during the folk-blues revival of the early Sixties, and he was championed by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. He recorded with the blues-rock group Canned Heat in 1970 and helped fuel the late-Eighties blues revival with his Grammy-winning The Healer, an all-star session featuring Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and Robert Cray. In person, Hooker is charming and otherworldly. He arrives at his manager's office decked out in a dark suit, a hat, shades and star-spangled suspenders.

Total word count of piece: 1123

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