In the sixties every blues festival and many multiple artist concerts all seemed to feature John Lee Hooker, so I'm lucky in that although I never actually set out to see him I did in fact get to see him at least half a dozen times. I can't say I was ever really bowled over by what he did on these occasions but it was good to see a true blues great.
This mainly Brit blues tribute features versions of both his electric and acoustic tunes and to my ears not one track really captures the essence of Hooker's limited but mesmerising style. For me Hooker's own track "Red house" - with Booker T and Randy California - is the best thing here - as he himself says "that's a good one". I didn't like the rocked-up Jeff Beck and the Jack Bruce/Gary Moore versions, and although the Gary Booker/Andy Fairweather-Low, 10 Years After and Tony McPhee/Dick Hecksall-Smith tracks were more respectful they didn't really develop the songs. Although I never thought Peter Green's Splinter Group worked, I've always liked Peter's (much underrated) harmonica playing and I think their version of "Crawlin' King Snake" is one of the better tracks, together with Mick Taylor/Max Middleton's "This Is Hip". However, overall not a successful record, much better to invest in Hooker's own classic recordings.