When John Lee Hooker enters the Chicago studio on 27th September 1967, it's been 1 year he did not record any session and 2 months before there was a 5 day riot in Detroit causing 43 dead among whom 33 were black people. John Lee Hooker composed a song about it and sang 3 others in this session, one of the best of the decade. On guitar, rarely mentioned for a reason I ignore, there was Buddy Guy. Two singles will be released from this session. Two months later, he'll record another one with the same band minus Buddy Guy, but the session will be very weak. All the songs from both sessions will be gathered on an LP released in 1968 under the name of Urban Blues. An uneven one for sure. More problematic, only the BGO CD version will feature the song "Want Ad Blues", the more widely known and easy to find MCA one withdrawing this song for the strange inclusion of 3 songs from the session John Lee Hooker did with Earl Hooker in 1969 and entitled If You Miss 'Im... I Got 'Im (you can get this almost complete session here). So, here's the only way to listen to the 27th September session: on a specific EP consisting of the 4 songs recorded this day. And the atmosphere is quite heavy and showed that this old blues man was as relevant to modern times than younger rockers such as the MC5, Jefferson Airplane or the Stones. Pictures are from the Detroit 1967 riots.
The Motor City Is Burning