There is no doubt that John Lee Hooker, Jr. was influenced and inspired by his father’s formidable career in the world of blues music. However, John Lee Jr. has gone on to push the envelope of contemporary blues with an innovative vision all his own.
In fact, John Lee Jr.’s voice has been described as smoother, richer and stronger than his father’s. John Lee Hooker Jr. has won numerous blues awards and has performed alongside world-class musicians such as ZZ Top, Jimmy Reed, BB King, Bo Diddley, Lenny Kravitz, Taj Mahal, Koko Taylor and Etta James.
John Lee Hooker Jr. will grace the stage of Norfolk’s Infinity Music Hall on Friday, August 20th. His show, which he personally describes as a fusion of blues, funk, soul, jazz and R&B starts at 8pm.
This afternoon, I had the honor of conducting a brief phone interview with the bluesman himself. Thanks to the help of many Facebook friends and Infinity Hall supporters, I was able to pull together a list of pertinent and creative questions to ask Mr. John Lee Hooker, Jr. His succinct but thoughtful answers offer insight into his life, his music career and personality.
A Brief Interview With John Lee Hooker, Jr.:
1. As the son of the late, great blues legend John Lee Hooker, you were exposed to the world of music from a very young age. You have gone on to follow in your father’s footsteps, enjoying your own prestigious career as a world class blues musician. In your mind, what is the most valuable piece of advice or guidance that your father left you with?
“My father left me with three valuable lessons that I most value: #1) Work Hard. #2) Respect all people, regardless of race, creed, religion, orientation, etc. #3) Always be honest. Even if the lights are off.”
2. Is there anything about your life or your music career that you would like for people to know about you that they probably do not already know?
“Even though I am a blues musician, I truly love all genres of music. Also, I simply love people! I love the underdog. I love seeing smiles, I love turning sadness into gladness.”
3. I’m aware that your live recording policy has been quite strict. Do you think there is any likely hood that any of your older material will be released in the future?
“Let me bring you up to speed. There is a new CD that was just released in the spring of 2010. This album, titled “Live in Istanbul” features three of my newest songs – all live performances, as well as several of my previously unreleased covers of much older songs written by my father.
The “Live in Istanbul” album also contains a bonus gift – a very unique DVD that features the first ever animated cartoon set to my blues music. Actually, this comic book-style animated episode boasts yours truly as the superhero…”Bluesman”, a crime-fighting musician, singing in clubs by night and cleaning up the streets by day. The first episode features the song Blues Ain’t Nothing But a Pimp. It’s just terrific really; a blues/hip hop animated music video!”
4. What is the legacy that you would like to leave this world? What advice or guidance would you give to emerging artists (singers/songwriters/musicians) to help keep them on a path of integrity?
“Leave Drugs and alcohol alone! Love and respect people no matter what status they have in life. Dare to be different. Where there’s a will, there’s a way… and God is the way-maker.”
Don’t miss John Lee Hooker, Jr. on Friday, August 20th!! –Get Tickets–