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Earl Hooker - Two Bugs And A Roach

CAT. #: 324


Price: $15.00

CD 324

Earl Hooker: vocals & guitar
with Freddie Roulette, Louis Myers, Joe Willie Perkins, Carey Bell, etc.

Recorded in 1968 & 1969, some from 1952 & 1953. Includes all of ARH LP 1044 and over half of ARH LP 1066.

1. Two Bugs And A Roach
2. Wah Wah Blues
3. You Don't Love Me
3. You Don't Want Me
4. Earl Hooker Blues
5. Anna Lee
6. Off The Hook
7. Love Ain't A Play Thing
9. The Hook
10. New Sweet Black Angel
11. I'm Going Down The Line
12. Sweet Black Angel
13. Guitar Rag
14. Earl's Boogie Woogie

REVIEW

“According to (founder of Arhoolie Records) Chris Strachwitz's superb liner notes we can thank Buddy Guy for this excellent record. Chris asked Buddy who he thought should be more extensively recorded and Buddy said 'Earl Hooker'. So 'Thanks, Buddy and Chris' for these fine 1968 sessions.

The record opens with the slow atmospheric 'Anna Lee,' a chance for Earl to pay tribute to one of his mentors, Robert Nighthawk. Earl's slide playing is true to Nighthawk's style and he delivers a sensitive vocal. Louis Myers (of Aces fame) adds some strong, traditional harp, and Freddy Roulette contributes to the atmosphere with his steel guitar. 'Off The Hook' is a swinging instrumental on which Earl's jazzier side comes to the fore. Hooker's sense of phrasing and taste are among the assets that gained him so much respect from his peers, and this cut gives us a sense of his restraint. 'Love Ain't A Plaything' features Carey Bell on vocal and harp and he is well-supported by Earl's adventurous chord and rhythm work. 'You Don't Want Me' is a shuffle groove showcasing Earl's use of the wah wah pedal (not normally associated with the blues; Earl made the wah wah an integral part of his style). Freddy Roulette is also featured on steel (also somewhat unusual in Chicago blues) and is outstanding. These unusual elements create a strong original sound which deserves more attention in studies of Chicago blues. 'Two Bugs And A Roach' (about Earl's tuberculosis) is a funky groove with a good natured repartee between Earl and Andrew 'B.B. Jr.' Odom. 'Wah Wah Blues' has Earl combining slide, straight lead and wah wah pedal to create a unique reworking of his earlier 'Blues In D Natural'. This could well be the masterpiece of this record. 'You Don't Love Me' showcases B.B. Jr.'s vocal and he lives up to his name. Earl's playing shows a Guitar Slim influence. 'Earl Hooker Blues' is a country inflected shuffle with the loose feel of a jam session. The rhythm section of Joe Willie 'Pinetop' Perkins-piano and organ, Geno Skaggs-bass, and Levi Warren or Willie Williams-drums are supportive and unobtrusive throughout. All in all this is a very strong outing with an easygoing live feel.”

(Dave Harris — Westcoast Blues Review)