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Jane Lee HookerJane Lee Hooker
Album: No B!
Label: RUF
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.janeleehooker.com

When I picked up this CD I was looking forward to listening to this new group who hail from New York.

With a name that harks back to one of the Blues greats - I never knew John had a daughter called Jane - and a album packed with some the greatest blues rock tracks ever known - this was a CD with promise.

The band are Dana "Danger" Athens on vocals, Melissa "Cool Whip" Houston on drums, High Top and Tina "T Bone" Gorin on guitar and Hail Mary Z on bass.

They open up with Wade in the Water, a song I last heard the mercurial Eva Cassidy covering, but this is a straight out of the box rocker. The twin lead guitars blending with the rhythm section and the strident vocals to create a great sound.

The band wanted to emulate the superb album that Muddy waters and Johnny Winter recorded in 1977 - and while this isn't Hard Again, it is a great selection of honest songs that this outfit bring to life so well.

Hard rocking they may be but the classic songs come thick and fast - Mean Town Blues with it's extended guitar solos, I Believe To My Soul, with Dana singing her heart out, and Memphis Minnie's Bumble Bee are quick out of the blocks.

Other tracks on the album include one of my personal faves - I first heard The Hunter back in my teens when a great group called Free decided to tackle this blues classic.

Muddy Waters is well represented here, with Champagne and Reefer and Mannish Boy being covered, and Willie Dixon's Shake For Me wraps up

Dana takes the writing credit for In the Valley a tale of dealing with devil that rocks along nicely and hopefully leads to more original songs in the future.

There is some nice subtle interplay between the band on the extended Didn't It Rain.

This group will no doubt be best seen live but as a taste of what they are all about this is one fine debut album.

John Knighton