ARCHIE LEE HOOKER AND THE COAST TO COAST BLUES BAND
Archie Lee Hooker was John Lee Hooker’s nephew and became his foster child when he was a teenager. Today he is telling through songs the saga of the famous bluesman. A perfect gift for the fans of
John Lee Hooker who will discover little known aspects of his life.
“Don’t Forget Where You Came From” sings Archie Lee Hooker in his latest album “Chilling“. And where he comes from is not a pretty place. Quitman county, deep down in the Mississippi Delta is one of the poorest counties of the poorest state in the nation. After WW2, more than half of the area residents had left the cotton fields to work in factories up north, some of whom became well known exponents of the blues such as Archie’s uncle, John Lee Hooker; a cousin, the slide guitar player Earl Hooker; and also the piano player Sunnyland Slim or the harp player James Snooky Prior. Those who stayed home were devoid of jobs and many were hungry. In 1966 the area was visited by Dr Martin Luther King who was moved to tears by the abject poverty he discovered there. He wanted a “Poor People’s March to begin at this end of the world”. And it did. One month after Dr King assassination in Memphis TN. In May ’68, a Mule train left Quitman county to make the 1, 000 mile journey to Washington DC to address the government. The Mule Train had fulfilled one of Dr. King’s dreams.
“Chilling” is a CD expressing some of my life’s ups and downs, which I’d like to take you on a journey through. I left the plantations of Mississippi at thirteen years of age and headed up north on highway 49 to the bright lights and big city of Memphis Tennessee.
I couldn’t believe my eyes looking out of the greyhound as we approached the city. I had never seen paved streets and street lights before. It felt like a different world.
Inspired by the Memphis music scene, it didn’t take long before I began singing with my first gospel group “The Marvellous Five”. However, singing the Blues and having some big ass fun finally came about in December of ‘89 when I moved in with my uncle John Lee, the Boogieman himself.
Surrounded by great musicians day in and day out I felt the need to start writing my own music to share my life’s experiences with others. The songs “I’ve got reasons” and “90 days” talk about a darker period of my life which ended with the packing of my blues shoes and embarking on a life changing move to France where I joined Carl Wyatt & the Delta Voodoo Kings to tour Europe.
Eventually, after carefully choosing the right musicians, I finally found my Band in the beautiful country of Luxembourg, Fred Barreto (Brazil) on lead guitar, Matt Santos (Brazil) on Hammond & Harmonica, Nicolas Fageot (France) on bass and Yves “Deville” Ditsch (Luxembourg) on Drums. The special chemistry within the band led to its name “Archie Lee Hooker & The Coast to Coast Blues Band”. My journey doesn’t end here, but this is my life in music up to this day!
My latest album “Chilling” is dedicated to the late great John Lee Hooker who would have turned 100 on August 22 nd 2017. Thank you John for all that you taught me!
Archie Lee Hooker