Jane Lee Hooker Release Powerful Sophomore Album

New York all-female band delivers more raw blues power

Jane Lee Hooker is a relatively recent discovery I made back in August when I saw this all-female blues rock band from New York at a free outdoor concert. I previously posted about them here. On Friday, they released their second studio album Spiritus on iTunes. According to the band’s website, the record is also out on CD in Europe and will become available in this format in the U.S. on January 26, 2018.

From the first to the last tune, the band exactly delivers what it does during their amazing live shows – raw oftentimes furious blues rock power that grabs you and invites you to move. Unlike their 2016 debut No B!, Spiritus mostly features original tracks. These five ladies definitely prove that in addition to covering tunes of blues greats like Muddy Waters and Johnny Winters, they also know how to write.

Except for one tune, I couldn’t find any of the studio recordings from the new album on YouTube, but luckily there are many clips of live performances, which are more fun to watch in the first place. Plus, according to a review in Music Republic Magazine, all tracks on the album were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs. This translates to the album’s sound, which comes across as unfiltered and spontaneous.

How Ya Doin’ kicks off the record. The uptempo blues rocker sounds like a perfect concert opener. Here’s a clip of the tune, which was captured in Orleans, France on November 1.

Gimme That, another original tune, has a nice Stonesey sound. But Jane Lee Hooker play it with more of an edge. The following clip is from a show back in July at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Here’s another nice tune, which was written by the band, Be My Baby. The clip is from another gig in France earlier this month.

Black Rat is one of the two covers on the album. It was first recorded in the 1940s by Memphis blues guitarist and songwriter Lizzie Douglas known as Memphis Minnie. BTW, that’s the same artist who together with her husband Kansas Joe McCoy wrote and recorded When The Levee Breaks in 1929, which was later reworked by Led Zeppelin and became the last song on their 1971 studio album Led Zeppelin IV. Jane Lee Hooker’s version of Black Rat sounds like triple the speed of the original.

The last song I’d like to highlight is the album’s closer, a cool slower track called The Breeze. It’s the only tune for which I could find a clip of the studio recording on YouTube.

Spiritus was recorded in New York this summer and produced by Matt Chiaravalle. According his website, Chiaravalle is a New York City-based music producer and engineer, who has worked with such artists as Debbie Harry, Courtney Love, Warren Zevon, and Joe Bonamassa. Like the band’s debut album, Spiritus appears on German contemporary blues label Ruf Records. Apparently, Jane Lee Hooker just wrapped up a European tour in support of the album yesterday (November 18) in Šumperk, Czech Republic. The only upcoming date that’s currently listed on their website is the Cincy Blues Winter Blues Fest on February 3, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH.

Sources: Wikipedia, Jane Lee Hooker website, Music Republic Magazine, YouTube

One thought on “Jane Lee Hooker Release Powerful Sophomore Album”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s