Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog - Down Home Shakedown - Live 1965
one of my favorite music videos ever.
“The world’s greatest blues singer”? That’s arguable, but there’s no doubt that the late John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) was in a class by himself, a genuine original whose music—raw, primitively simple, scary even, powered by his deep moan of a voice—was the very embodiment of the Delta blues style. Big names like Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and many more line up to pay tribute to the man in this absorbing 90-minute documentary; there are also plenty of interviews with family, friends, business associates, and the grizzled, laconic bluesman himself, along with some decent performance footage (as is usual in such projects, we get no complete songs). But this 2000 film’s best moments come courtesy of writer-director Joerg Bundschuh’s beautifully photographed contemporary footage, with no accompaniment except the hypnotic groove and profound soul of John Lee Hooker’s music. A teenage runaway who never went to school, John Lee Hooker had trouble spelling his name, even into his eighties. But, despite these humble beginnings, John Lee Hooker is today considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century—the God