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Ain't 'No B!' in Jane Lee Hooker: These Gals are Dangerous on New Ruf Records Release [REVIEW]

By Mike Greenblatt m.greenblatt@classicalite.com on May 12, 2016 03:35 PM EDT

When Muddy Waters claimed his manhood on "Mannish Boy" in 1955 by shouting "No B," he was talkin' 'bout how boyhood left him long ago. The Brooklyn ladies in Jane Lee Hooker also say No B! Their Ruf Records debut of the same name is revelatory.

Think '70s Classic Rock. Think punk. You can even think Metal Lite if you want. The point is that this quintet is like Led Zeppelin without penises. The other difference is that they didn't steal any songs. The 11 ball-busters here all have proper attribution. And guess what? This band is so wild, tough, ornery, loud, heavy, sexy, hard and crazy-sick with proper rock'n'roll angst, their renditions hold up remarkably well in contrast to each song's original.

They have the temerity to tackle Johnny Winter's "Mean Town Blues" and lead screamer Danger Athens nails it as do guitarists High Top and T-Bone Gorin. They're even bolder to cover "I Believe to My Soul" by Ray Charles and make it into a hard rock vehicle for the JLH sledgehammer rhythm section of ballsy drummer Cool Whip Houston and thunder-bassist Hail Mary Z. After Kansas Joe McCoy's "Bumble Bee," complete with piercing staccato electric stings, they even assault Otis Redding's "Free Me." Albert King's 1967 "The Hunter" is more akin with the 1969 Ike & Tina Turner version. Plus, these gals like their "Champagne and Reefer," playing up the slut card on this Muddy classic. And, yeah, they did give Willie Dixon credit for writing Howling Wolf's "Shake for Me."

Comprised of former members of Nashville Pussy, The Wives and Bad Wizard, Jane Lee Hooker is one provocative rock'n'roll band that will knock your socks off. In taking no prisoners, they use the blues to get their point across. They are not to be trifled with.

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TagsJane Lee Hooker, REVIEW, Ruf Records, Muddy Waters

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