Rolling Stone - 4/29/71, p.44
"...despite the cover billing, (Canned Heat) are very much a backup group, for this is really a John Lee Hooker album, and one of his best in a long while..." -Bob Palmer
Mojo (Publisher) - 10/01, p.169
"...As magisterial an album-as-album as Hooker ever cut..."
Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar, percussion); Henry Vestine (guitar); Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar, piano, harmonica); Antonio De La Barreda (bass); Adolfo De La Parra (drums).
Recorded at Liberty Studios, Los Angeles, California in May 1970. Includes liner notes by Pete Welding and "Boogie Chillen".
John Lee Hooker/Canned Heat: John Lee Hooker; Henry Vestin (guitar); Antonio de la Barreda (bass instrument); Adolfo de la Parra (percussion); Alan Wilson .
Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar); Alan Wilson (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano); Bob Hite (vocals); Henry Vestine (guitar); Adolfo de la Parra (drums).
Audio Mixers: Robert Zimbler; Martin Birch.
Audio Remasterer: Andrew Thompson .
Liner Note Authors: Pete Welding; John Tobler.
Recording information: Liberty Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (05/1970); Liberty Studios, LA, CA (05/1970); Liberty Studios, Los Angeles, CA (05/1970).
Photographers: Michael Ochs; Philip Melnick; Tom Copi; Tom Tucker.
By the late '50s, the Delta blues style of John Lee Hooker's modal guitar stomp was profoundly out of favor with urban black audiences, who had begun to prefer more sophisticated rhythm and blues styles. Around the same time, however, Hooker and other traditional blues artists such as Mississippi Fred McDowell were being "rediscovered" by folk audiences eager to hear this rapidly disappearing style of music. Shortly thereafter the British blues boom of the mid-'60s effectively crossbred traditional blues with rock & roll.
Eventually the cycle came back to the United States as the success of The Yardbirds and Cream inspired American blues-rock artists like Canned Heat, and albums like HOOKER 'N' HEAT that were both homage and collaboration. Recorded live in Los Angeles, the session showcases the edgy rock thump of Canned Heat more than it does Hooker (who only sings on the last three tracks). But the band matches the guitarist's idiosyncratic style surprisingly well, and backing vocals by soul legends the Chambers Brothers are more than welcome. This fine outing brings these young blues-rock musicians right back to the source.