Craft Recordings’ JLH Box Set Is A Wonderful Tribute To Music Royalty

Courtesy: Craft Recordings/Concord Music Group

Early this past August, the music community stopped for a moment to remember John Lee Hooker. The beloved, legendary bluesman would have celebrated his 100th birthday Aug. 22. In honor of the milestone, Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, released a brand new five-disc, 100-song collection of Hooker’s songs in the form of John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie only months later on Oct. 6. Originally scheduled for release Sept. 29, the multi-disc compilation is not the first compilation of the famed musician’s works, but it is an impressive new collection nonetheless. That is proven in part through the collection’s featured songs, which will be discussed shortly. The set’s packaging is just as important to note here as its song selection, and will be discussed later. Last but most definitely not least of note in this collection is its average price point. Each element is critical in its own way to the recording’s whole. All things considered, they make John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie a wonderful musical tribute to a wonderful musical mind.

Craft Recordings’ recently released John Lee Hooker box set King of the Boogie is, simply put, a wonderful musical tribute to a wonderful musical mind. That is due in no small part to the 100 songs that make up the collection’s body. Those songs form the foundation of the set’s presentation. What makes them stand out is the picture that they paint of Hooker’s rich career. Though not presented in chronological order, it does paint a broad, rich picture of Hooker’s career. The collection takes audiences all the way back to Hooker’s earliest days with the likes of ‘Maudie,’ ‘Time is Marching’ and ‘I Love You Honey,’ all of which were released in 1959. It also takes audiences through Hooker’s career with songs from the 60s, 70s and beyond in the likes of ‘Goin’ Mad Blues’ (1969), ‘Unfriendly Woman’ (1977), ‘It serves Me Right’ (1980), ‘Spellbound’ (1997), and ‘When I Lay My Burden Down’ (2017) among so many others. As if the studio recordings are not enough, the set also includes a full disc dedicated solely to Hooker’s live works. That disc, the set’s fourth disc, features live recordings reaching all the way back to 1960. It also features a variety of archived live performances released as recently as 2002 alongside brand new, previously unreleased live performances released for the first time in this collection. Those live recordings add even more depth to the box set’s presentation. Simply put, the songs featured in this collection present one of the most vivid pictures of Hooker’s career that has been released to date. It is not just another random collection put out for the sake of making money. It truly is a celebration of the life and career of a music legend. The set’s featured songs do plenty to celebrate John Lee Hooker’s life and legacy in this new box set, but are not the only items, collectively that serve to celebrate the musical icon so well. The set’s overall packaging goes a long way toward celebrating Hooker and his achievements, too.

King of the Boogie‘s packaging offers audiences just as much to appreciate as its featured songs. Rather than just being a standard, bulky, square box, Craft Recordings has presented the set as a book, with each of its discs inserted safely throughout. It’s an aesthetic element, but still a positive nonetheless. The liner notes presented throughout the book, crafted by John Lee Hooker historian Jas Obrecht and Hooker’s longtime friend Mike Kappus offer their own insight and entertainment for audiences. That is thanks to the fact that the pair does not pull any punches, presenting Hooker’s highs and lows. Along with the fully engaging stories told by Kappus and Obrecht is a bevy of pictures that illustrate the pair’s stories even more both literally and figuratively. The pictures included in the book included ones of him with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, Hooker with Bonnie Raitt, and solo studio shots of Hooker from his early days alongside other live shots from throughout his career. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then those and the set’s other pictures would certainly have plenty to say, making the set’s presentation that much richer, in turn, showing even more why the set’s packaging is so critical to its presentation. Of course the packaging is only one more of the set’s most important elements. Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of Craft Recordings’ new centennial celebration of John Lee Hooker is important to note because it is a relatively affordable price. Comparing prices between Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, the set’s average price point sits at approximately $49. Considering the amount of material, both musical and otherwise, included in the collection, such a price is relatively affordable to the average consumer. It would have been easy for those four major outlets to push their prices higher, but they each made certain to keep the set within the average consumer’s price range. That proves even more the importance of the set’s average price point to its overall presentation. When this element is considered alongside the set’s clearly impressive packaging and its equally noteworthy sequencing, the whole of those elements makes King of the Boogie a wonderful way to pay tribute to musical royalty.

Craft Recordings’ recently released five-disc John Lee Hooker box set is a thorough new collection that is certainly a wonderful tribute to the legacy of a great musical mind. That is proven in part through the extensive, 100-song sequence that reaches back to Hooker’s earliest days and beyond. The songs paint a rich picture of Hooker’s career. The set’s packaging is just as important to its whole thanks to its liner notes and pictures. The picture that they paint makes the picture painted by the set’s featured songs all the richer and more vivid. The set’s average price point makes it easily affordable for the average consumer, too. Each element is important in its own right to the set’s presentation. All things considered, they make this set a royally wonderful tribute to one of the music industry’s great names. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Craft Recordings is available online now at:

Website: http://craftrecordings.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/craftrecordingsofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/craftrecordings

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Craft Recordings Announces New John Lee Hooker Box Set Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: Craft Recordings/Concord Music Group

Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, will pay tribute to blues legend John Lee Hooker next month with a brand new box set.

King of the Boogie will be released Sept. 29 in stores and online.  The set’s 100-total songs are spread across five discs and features a number of Hooker’s greatest hits as well as lots of rarities, live recordings and previously unreleased recordings.  The collection includes a 56-page book along with the discs that features a variety of pictures of the famed bluesman at different points of his career as well as liner notes written by writer and Hooker historian Jas Obrecht and Hooker’s manager and friend Mike Kappus.

Mason Williams, who curated and produced King of the Boogie, said in a recent interview about the collection that its 100 total songs make up only a small glance of Hooker’s extensive career, but a clear view nonetheless.

“Even at 100 songs, this set is just a snapshot of John Lee Hooker’s incredible and influential career, but one that takes you on the long journey he took from his early days in Detroit to his time in Chicago recording for Vee-Jay Records and up through his later collaborations with Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt and Santana among others,” Williams said.

The set’s track listing is noted below.

JOHN LEE HOOKER – KING OF THE BOOGIE TRACK LIST:
Disc 1:
1. Boogie Chillen’ – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
2. Sally May – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
3. Hobo Blues – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
4. Crawlin’ King Snake – John Lee Hooker & His Guitar
5. Black Man Blues – Texas Slim
6. Goin’ Mad Blues – Delta John
7. Who’s Been Jivin’ You – Texas Slim
8. (Miss Sadie Mae) Curl My Baby’s Hair
9. Hoogie Boogie – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
10. Burnin’ Hell – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
11. Weeping Willow Boogie
12. Moaning Blues – Texas Slim
13. Huckle Up Baby – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
14. Goin’ On Highway #51 – John Lee Hooker And His Guitar
15. John L’s House Rent Boogie
16. I’m In The Mood
17. Two White Horses
18. 33 Blues
19. Sugar Mama
20. Wobbling Baby
21. Stuttering Blues – John Lee Booker
22. I’m A Boogie Man – Johnny Lee
23. Down Child
24. Odds Against Me (Backbiters And Syndicaters)
25. Shake, Holler And Run
Disc 2:
1. Unfriendly Woman [Aka Stop Now]*
2. Mambo Chillun
3. Time Is Marching
4. Dimples
5. Little Wheel
6. I Love You Honey
7. Drive Me Away
8. Maudie
9. When I Lay My Burden Down*
10. Tupelo Blues
11. Good Mornin’ Lil’ School Girl
12. I Rolled And Turned And Cried The Whole Night Long
13. No More Doggin’
14. Dusty Road
15. No Shoes
16. My First Wife Left Me
17. Crazy About That Walk – Sir John Lee Hooker
18. Want Ad Blues
19. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
20. I’m Going Upstairs
21. I Lost My Job
22. Don’t Turn Me From Your Door
23. Grinder Man
24. Meat Shakes On Her Bone*
Disc 3:
1. Boom Boom
2. Blues Before Sunrise
3. She’s Mine
4. Frisco Blues
5. Good Rockin’ Mama
6. I’m Leaving
7. Birmingham Blues
8. Don’t Look Back
9. Big Legs, Tight Skirt
10. It Serves Me Right
11. Money
12. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
13. The Motor City Is Burning
14. Mean, Mean Woman
15. Doin’ The Shout
16. Homework
17. Early One Morning
18. Rocking Chair
19. Hittin’ The Bottle Again
20. Deep Blue Sea
21. Spellbound
Disc 4: LIVE
1. Hobo Blues – Live
2. Maudie – Live
3. Shake It Baby – Live
4. Boogie Chillun – Live
5. Bottle Up And Go – Live
6. Crawlin’ King Snake – Live
7. The Mighty Fire – Live
8. You’ve Got To Walk Yourself – Live
9. I’m Bad Like Jesse James – Live
10. Boogie Everywhere I Go – Live
11.She’s Gone*- Live
12.It Serves Me Right To Suffer*- Live
13. Boom Boom* – Live
14. Hi-Heel Sneakers* – Live
15. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer* – Live
 
Disc 5: FRIENDS
1. I Got Eyes For You – With “Little” Eddie Kirkland
2. Mai Lee – With The Groundhogs
3. Peavine – With Canned Heat
4. Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive – With Van Morrison
5. Five Long Years – With Joe Cocker
6. The Healer – With Carlos Santana
7. I’m In The Mood – With Bonnie Raitt
8. Sally Mae – With George Thorogood
9. Mr. Lucky – With Robert Cray
10. Up And Down – With Warren Haynes
11. Boom Boom – With Jimmie Vaughan
12. You Shook Me – With B.B. King
13. Don’t Look Back – With Van Morrison
14. Dimples – With Los Lobos
15. Boogie Chillen’ – With Eric Clapton

King of the Boogie is being released as part of a year-long celebration of what would have been Hooker’s 100th birthday (which would have been celebrated Aug. 22).  An exhibit of the same name is currently being presented at the Grammy Museum ® Mississippi.  It includes outfits that Hooker wore at various live shows, guitars that he played, photos, awards and his music.  The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 2018 before being moved to the Grammy Museum® L.A. Live.

Hooker’s daughter Zakiya, spoke Tuesday about the new exhibit and forthcoming box set, saying the tributes moved her and knew they would move audiences, too.

“Today, on what would have been my father’s 100th birthday, I am so thrilled to see him celebrated—both with the exhibit as well as with the announcement of this special collection of music,” she said.  “I know his fans will be excited to hear rare performances, and to read the touching words of his longtime manager, Mike Kappus, as well as those of the wonderful Jas Obrecht.  It was a pleasure to watch this box set come together, and I can’t wait to see it shared with the world.”

More information on this and other titles from Craft Recordings and Concord Music Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/labels/craft-recordings

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ConcordMusicGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ConcordRecords

 

 

 

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Thorogood & Company Put On A Real Rock Party In Their First Ever Montreux Show

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds formed a new landmark business partnership a year or so ago.  The partnership in question allowed Eagle Rock distribution rights for a number of new and archived shows that were recorded at what is one of music’s most revered festivals.  And the recordings in question have been nothing short of impressive.  From the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Etta James to newer acts such as The Raconteurs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has seen some of the industry’s top names take its storied stages.  Now, one more piece of the legendary festival’s history has been released to the masses in the form of George Thorogood & The Destroyers Live at Montreux 2013.  The concert, which was recorded this past July, marked the first time that Thorogood and his band mates—Jeff Simon (drums), Bill Blough (bass), Jim Suhler (guitar/vocals), and Buddy Leach (saxophone)–had ever performed at the venue.  And Thorogood himself makes note of his excitement at getting to finally perform at Montreux after more than two decades.  That excitement pored over throughout the band’s entire performance, too.  It’s one of the key factors of this recording that makes it so fun to take in.  The band’s set list is another reason that fans will enjoy this recording.  Thorogood and his band mates hit on every one of their major hit songs.  There is even a tribute to Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure.  If that isn’t enough for fans, the combination of the recording’s bonus interview and companion booklet will push the recording over the top.  They, along with the set list and the band’s performance, make this recording one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.

George Thorogood has been making music and performing for over four decades.  So it comes as quite the surprise that 2013 marked the first time that he and his band mates played the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  The festival, which started out mainly as a venue for the top names in jazz and blues, has grown each year to incorporate bands and artists from across the musical spectrum.  Thorogood and his band mates obviously held no ill will toward festival organizers when they took the stage at the festival.  Thorogood makes no bones concerning his excitement at finally being invited to perform at Montreux.  His positive energy isn’t confined to just that one moment, either.  From the high energy opener that is ‘Rock Party’ to hits like ‘I Drink Alone’, ‘Bad to the Bone’, and ‘Madison Blues’, the band exudes so much energy and excitement.  The audience in attendance feeds off of every bit of that excitement, too.  The mutual sharing of excitement and energy can be felt even by viewers watching this recording from the comfort of their own living rooms or bedrooms.  Home viewers may even find themselves feeding off of that excitement, dancing around and playing air guitar, etc.  That shows just how much fun Thorogood and company make their performance for all of their audiences.  Home viewers will discover this for themselves when they order or purchase the recording for themselves on DVD and Blu-ray.

The positive energy and excitement exuded by Thorogood and company is key to the overall enjoyment of this recording.  Whether one is seeing the concert for the first time or reliving the concert again, everybody can agree that the band’s stage performance alone is enough reason to take in this concert.  Just as important to the overall enjoyment of this concert recording is the set list chosen for the performance.  Fans won’t be disappointed at the set list chosen for the concert.  The veteran rockers included all of their fan favorites over the course of the near ninety-minute set.  From the likes of ‘I Drink Alone’ to the band’s now famous cover of John Lee Hooker’s ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ to the Johnny Cash tribute in ‘Cocaine Blues’, the band leaves little if anything on the table.  Audiences will especially appreciate that in the tribute to the late country singer, Thorogood actually seems to channel him.  He actually sounds like Cash, vocally speaking, at points in the song.  The same can be said of his guitar work, too.  It is just one of so many high points offered throughout the course of the concert.  And it’s just one more part of what makes the recording as a whole so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It’s not the last, either.  The bonus interview and companion booklet included in with the DVD and Blu-ray put the finishing touch on this recording.

The songs chosen for this concert and the band’s performance collectively make up the most important and impressive part of this latest recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  There is still one part of the overall presentation of this recording that puts it over the top.  That last part ifs the collective bonus interview and companion booklet.  The show’s bonus sit-down with Thorogood shows that the persona presented on stage was as real as it comes.  Audiences get even more insight into his excitement over playing Montreux at long last.  And through the show’s companion booklet, audiences get a brief history of Thorogood’s career leading up to his performance at Montreux.  Audiences will be interested to learn that along with George Thorogood and The Destroyers, ZZ Top was at Montreux this year, as were Prince, Sting, Ben Harper, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, and so many others.  It’s just a tiny piece of the whole history that audiences will enjoy learning in reading through the included literature.  And together with everything already mentioned, that history and the bonus interview make this presentation complete.  It all collectively makes this latest release one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-At-Montreux-2013-Blu-ray/dp/B00FFLBXJQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1387537259&sr=1-1&keywords=george+thorogood+%26+the+destroyers+live+at+montreux+2013.  More information on this and other concerts in Eagle Rock’s ongoing Montreux series of concerts is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.