Friday, February 24, 2006

Come See About Me

John Lee Hooker on "John Lee Hooker Sings the Blues" launches a plea heavenward from the depths of his sorrow. Troubles are alluded to "because he's way down here all alone" just hoping for the "Lord to come down and see about" him.
His mother's gone. He's a "motherless child."
He's in the world alone.
His father's turned his back on him.
The troubles are here, "in the sorry valley on his knees."

The guitar is a simple strum with two notes just keying off each plea.
"Come down Lord and take care of Your child."
There's no anger, no tears, he's well beyond that. It's the bare despair only Help from above can relieve.

It's a stark non-electric recording going back to February, 1960. His guitar-playing at times is delicate, barely audible under his vocals. The backing band, Sam Jones on acoustic bass and Louis Hayes on drums (which sound like the most basic kit one could pound on) are steady and shaded, keeping the beat while gently pushing Hooker toward conclusion. A trance chant of a song. A primitively simple and eloquent album.

This is the first of the Songs of Heartbreak and Despair. I am not as brave as Mr WP ; I won't number the position of each song. Each carries a sorrow for a different occassion.

(This is #1 of Ten Heartbreakers as memed by Whisky Prajer)

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Not bad for a greenhorn!
A good, strong start DV! Say, this isn't going to mutate into your radio-hosting playlist, is it? Your community could find itself the victims of a sudden Kleenex shortage.
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