Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

John Lee Hooker: Endless Boogie [ABC, 1970]
I like this double-lp more than either of two recent Bob Hite efforts. Hooker 'n' Heat (Liberty) features too much unaccompanied Hooker and tends to play on his status of a minor blues relic with hot-off-the-tape studio rapping, although the last side really boogies, as the saying goes. Coast to Coast Blues Band (United Artists) collects 14 20-year-old masters, mostly previously unreleased solo takes. The white audience hasn't much changed Hooker's sound, so the timeliness of Endless Boogie is an unmitigated plus, and producers Bill Szymczyk and Ed Michel get a relaxed groove out of a cast of supporting musicians (Brown, Miller, Davis, Radic, Naftalin) who can boogie Canned Heat right out of the studio. B+