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Friday July 12
John Lee Hooker Jr.
8pm & 10pm $24
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Youtube:John Lee Hooker Jr.

With the wind-driven rain pelting the freezing, asphalt street on either side of him, John Lee Hooker Jr. hides under a car, shivering from the torrential elements and his addiction, praying the police will not find him. At this moment over ten years ago, the blues prodigy has a glimpse of his life with God or the devil at his side. Fortunately for him, family, friends and blues lovers, he chooses God.

JLHJR Born in Detroit, Michigan, Hooker Jr. was exposed to the blues as some children are exposed to a parent who practices carpentry, bricklaying or farming. The son of the blues legend, John Lee Hooker, naturally developed a curiosity and appetite for his father's livelihood. Hooker Jr. performed on Detroit's WJBK radio at the tender age of eight years old and toured with his father throughout his teens. Exposed to blues greats such as, Jimmie Reed, Washboard Willie, and Boogie Woogie Red, little Hooker Jr. would eventually perform his talents at prestigious venues such as Detroit's, Fox Theatre and other upscale Motown clubs in the shadow of his father. By the time little Hooker Jr. turned eighteen, he was a recording artist performing with his father, most notably on John Lee Hooker's, Live at Soledad Prison (ABC Records) release.

Blues With A Vengeance was John's "celebratory redemption". In other words, he would celebrate his redemption through the hard work and dedication it takes to create a musical classic - and redeem himself he did. The newly awakened artist received 2004, "Comeback Artist of the Year Award" from the San Francisco Bay Area Blues Society, "Outstanding Blues Album of the Year" from The California Music Awards (formerly known as the BAMMYS), "Best New Artist Debut" nomination from the W.C. Handy Awards, and "Best Traditional Blues" nomination from the Grammy Awards. Etta James won the actual Grammy award but to be in her company along with fellow nominees, Eric Clapton, Pinetop Perkins, and James Cotton was a strong indication of the direction Jr. Hooker's career was taking.

All Odds Against Me (Steppin' Stone Records/Jazzhaus Records Europe 2007) was the first effort by the artist to incorporate his own music without covering any of his father's music. This also seemed like a good time to launch his own record label and take further control of his musical career. Partnered internationally with Jazzhaus Records, the project generated yet, another Grammy nomination along with fellow nominees, Pinetop Perkins & Friends, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Elvin Biship in 2008 for "Best Traditional Blues". B.B. King would walk away with the award but Jr. Hooker would win more respect and recognition in the realm of blues. All Odds Against Me also introduced Hooker Jr. as "Bluesman". This animated blues superhero, conceived by French brother, Laurent Mercier (Callicore Animation Studios, Paris) is featured as a DVD, included with the audio disk and is the first animated blues artist to come into existence.

John Lee Hooker Jr. is a living testimony of the fact that your past is just that - your past. Ironically, the same prison that held Hooker was his venue for two separate gigs; one, the place you go as a consequence of bad decisions, the other, a platform to share his musical talents. From San Quentin to Hollywood's red carpet has been an experience few will ever be able to experience. John Lee Hooker Jr. was able to introduce "Blues With A Vengeance" while maintaining a "Cold As Ice" appearance with "All Odds Against" him and sing about it live in Istanbul, Turkey - and ultimately, sharing it with the world. Though all of Hooker's recordings are diverse, they share a common bond. Hooker Jr. is proof that demons can be defeated. Through all his releases, he convincingly displays the years of sacrifice, love and determination on his quest for making his own mark in the music industry as John Lee Hooker Jr. and not just the son of the great John Lee Hooker.

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JLH Jr.