Riffs

Bluesman Roy Rogers on John Lee Hooker's 'Boogie Chillun'
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The Independent Culture
We're talking about the VeeJay version here, not the original from 10 or 15 years previously. The original was one of the great R&B hits of the period, selling hundreds of thousands of copies and crossing over from the "race" market. I can't say how many white people bought that record in 1949, but for sure some did.

Having said that, my favourite version of "Boogie Chillun" is from the Sixties. I first heard it in 1965. We'd been made aware of people like Hooker by the Animals and the Stones. Even in the US, it was hard to find real blues records unless you lived in the right spot, and so we got into the blues by listening to the British groups.

I love "Boogie Chillun" partly because it's a great song and partly because it has a special sound. The VeeJay version is really beautifully recorded. The guitar is full yet crisp and clean, without the recording distortion that afflicted John Lee's earlier records.

I love the way they miked his foot-stomping, too. The combination of his voice, his stomping foot and his guitar - it's like a one-man orchestra, completely authoritative. It's also one of the great riffs.

nRoy Rogers' 'Rhythm and Groove' is out on Pointblank

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