John Lee Hooker - Lifetime of Achievement
John Lee Hooker was honored November 7 with The Blues Foundation's Lifetime Achievment Award. Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, B.B. King, Robert Cray, Luther Allison, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruth Brown and Little Milton were amongst those who paid tribute to the blues legend at B.B. King's club in Los Angeles, CA. President Clinton also sent a letter of congratulations to Mr. Hooker which was read to the audience. Musselwhite and Brown also supported John Lee in a sold-out show at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA the preceding week, as part of the world-renowned San Francisco Jazz Festival.
Speaking of the President, by special invitation, John Lee Hooker performed his classic boogie for President Clinton and a crowd of over 10,000 at Oakland, CA's Jack London Square on October 31. The Democratic rally was one of the President's last California campaign stops before his re-election.
In spite of the Lifetime Achievement Award and talk of retirement, John Lee Hooker continues to create great contemporary and traditional music. John Lee's forthcoming album will be released on pointblank / Virgin Records in February, 1997. Produced by Van Morrison, the album also features special guests Los Lobos (who produced their own guest track), Charles Brown and Gregory Davis and Roger Lewis from The Dirty Dozen who supplyied horns on John's classic, "Blues Before Sunrise."
Brendan, Donna, Kelly...Clarence?
The Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Clarence Fountain will be singing holiday cheer and gospel on the December 18 Christmas episode of Beverly Hills 90210.
In addition toJohn Lee Hooker's '97 release, The Robert Cray Band will have a Spring release on Mercury Records. The Cray band just returned from recording their tenth album in Memphis, Tennessee, where The Memphis Horns and the band reunited in the studio for a few songs.
Even with Duke Robillard's non-stop1996 tour schedule taking him through 34 states and, by the end of the year, 10 countries, he too, has found time for the studio. Following the critically acclaimed Duke's Blues, The Duke Robillard Band will release their third album on pointblank/Virgin Records next Spring. Duke also produced and performs on Jay McShann's next album, Hootie's Jumpin' Blues, to be released worldwide on Stony Plain Records next February.
A few ofJJ Cale's rare recent appearances were caught on tape and aired nationally on syndicated radio. Acoustic Cafe presented a Cale program the week of November 4 and Mountain Stage features him on November 23 and 24.