John Lee Hooker

If You Miss 'Im...I Got 'Im

  • AllMusic Rating
    4
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This album is marked by the interaction between John Lee Hooker and his guitar-playing cousin Earl. Earl, who succumbed to illness in 1970, was a fine bluesman in his own right, possessing a formidable slide technique. Many are unaware that the two often performed together, and the band that accompanies John Lee here also backed Earl frequently. The opening cut, then, a slow 12-bar number called "The Hookers" is not about ladies of the evening, but rather about the gentlemen in question.

Heard here less than a year before his death, Earl still sounds frisky and versatile, often utilizing a funky wah-wah style without ever descending into the psychedelic excesses that plagued so many late-'60s electric blues albums. One of the most effective cuts is "Lonesome Mood," a low-key, one-chord stomper in the classic John Lee mold, where Earl's wah-wah guitar meshes with Johnny Walker's organ and Jefferey Carp's harmonica to create a subtly shifting, sensuously undulating web of sound over which John Lee works his hoodoo. On IF YOU MISS 'IM, John Lee definitely benefits from keeping it in the family.

blue highlight denotes track pick