One of the last great bluesmen to make the musical and geographical transition from the rural South to the urban North, John Lee Hooker has received a great deal of attention over the past few years, thanks to a 1989 album, The Healer, which put him together with an all-star cast of musicians. Mr. Lucky repeats that formula with such famous rockers and bluesmen as Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Robert Cray, and Albert Collins. In essence, this is a tribute album with Hooker singing his songs to the accompaniment of his admirers’ bands. Most of the tunes, however, don’t sound like Hooker at all — the cut with Van Morrison, for example, is more like one of the Irishman’s brooding meditations. While this makes for mild entertainment, Hooker gets deep into his blues only a couple of times, most notably on ”Highway 13,” when guitarist-harp player John Hammond produces the kind of intense, slow groove for which Hooker is famous. On this dark shuffle, when the man tells you about driving in the rain to try and find his woman, you’re almost drenched by his obsessive need. B-

Mr. Lucky
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