Earl Hooker

Two Bugs and a Roach

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Earl Hooker's Two Bugs and a Roach is a varied lot, with vocals from Hooker, Andrew Odom, and Carey Bell in between the instrumentals, all cut in 1968. All in all, it's one of the must-haves in this artist's very small discography -- a nice representative sample from Chicago's unsung master of the electric guitar, including the title track, "Anna Lee," and the atmospheric instrumental, "Off the Hook." [For a compact disc reissue, Arhoolie added some tracks to the original lineup, including two tracks from stray sessions in late 1968 and July, 1969, along with four very early sides probably recorded in Memphis in the company of Pinetop Perkins, Willie Nix, and an unknown bass player. Of these, "Guitar Rag" is the least together, hampered by a bass player who can't find the changes, but "I'm Going Down the Line" and "Earl's Boogie Woogie" are both top-notch uptempo boogies full of fleet fingered soloing. "Sweet Black Angel" was the A-side of a stray single from the early '50s and appears to be from another session, although it's an excellent example of Hooker playing in the Robert Night Hawk style.]

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