John Lee Hooker Jr., grew up in Detroit, Michigan as the son of one of the greatest blues and Legendary music icons in the world, the late and the great John Lee Hooker (1971-2001). He is a musical artist who has received multiple awards ranging from The California Music Award for Best Traditional Artist in 2004, The esteemed W.C Handy Award in 2004, and the Bay Area Music Chapter for Come Back Artist of the Year. The younger Hooker’s musical style is markedly modernized, featuring contemporary arrangements with a funky big horn sound with elements of funky Gospel, with ingredients of a Johnny “Guitar” Watson sound, with a James Brown feel, and some John Lee Hooker Sr. Boogie Beat, and also with his Daddy’s work ethic, “Give the People what they want.”
As a native of Detroit, Hooker was performing live on local radio stations by the time he was 8 years old, and toured with his father as a teenager and also recorded with him in the notorious Soledad State Prison with ABC Records. He struggled with drugs and alcohol for many years before reviving his career with his debut solo album, Blues with a Vengeance produced by the master of keyboards, Will ‘Roc’ Griffin in 2004. The album was nominated for a Grammy. A follow-up album, Cold as Ice, was released in 2006.
Hooker’s third album, All Odds Against Me, was released on his own label ‘Steppin’ Stone Records’, on August 19, 2008. Marking a clear departure from his father’s style of music, the album was nominated for a 2nd. Grammy Nomination that year in the Best Traditional Blues CD category. An animated video for the song, “Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp,” produced by Paris-based studio Callicore Productions, featured Hooker as a street-hardened character known as “Bluesman.” The video was a 2009 Webby Awards honoree for special effects. Hooker Jr.’s 2011 album “John Lee Hooker Jr. Live in Istanbul”, Turkey comes with a double disc of blues animation making history as the first blues cartoon animation. In 2012 Hooker’s “That’s what the blues is all about” went Gold in Warsaw, Poland (See video on website) His next CD “All Hooked Up” also with a double disc produced by esteemed Grammy Award winner Larry Batiste and a duet with the great diva Betty Wright.
Hooker’s touring band includes on (Bass) Frank “Tebo” Thibeaux, Jeffrey James Horan (Guitar), Mike Rogers (Drums), and James Gig Anderson (Keys), Ric “Mightybones” Feliciano on Trombone, Doug Rowan on Saxophone, and Stephen Kleuth on Trumpet.
John Lee Hooker Jr. is currently working on his soul gospel album called “My God is Holy”, using almost the same blues and funk elements he incorporated in his blues releases and concerts. John Jr. has traveled the globe sharing the stage with musical giants such as, the late John Lee Hooker, BO Diddly, B.B King, William Belll, Snoop Dogg, Taj Mahal, Lenny Kravitz, Z.Z Top, the late Etta James, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, his sister Zakiya Hooker, and the Rolling Stones in Spielberg, Austria.
As an artist, he was featured in an episode of the Cable Television Network of Pat Roberson’s 700 Club where he detailed his drug addictions and imprisonments leading up to his conversion to Christianity and sobriety. That video clip can be found on YouTube. He was the voice at U.S Open Tennis Commercial, Fox Sports College Football on CBS Sports.
John Lee began performing at 8 years old when he sang “Maudie” to a Detroit radio audience while sitting on his father’s lap. He went on to tour with his father in his adolescence, but by the age of 15 was already in jail for burglary . John Lee spent many dark decades in and out of prison in the shadow of his father’s limelight, finally winding up in the notorious San Quentin facility with the scars of numerous gun and knife fights over the years.
John Lee finally came to terms with his life of crime and addiction in a judge-mandated halfway house, where he did time and eventually formed a band with other recovering addicts.
Today, John Lee is singing a different tune, the tune of the Gospel with a funky down home big band beat, with music that gives a treat to your feet. John Lee Jr. today is the recipient of an A.A degree in Biblical Studies, a B.A in Counseling degree, 2 Units in Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E) and is a Protestant Chaplain at the notorious Super max prison known as Pelican Bay, Folsom State Prison, and the California Medical Facility located in Vacaville, Calif. He still performs his new funky sound and has preaching and singing engagements all around the great state of Alaska, and Arizona state prisons. Currently he is working on his new CD in which is to be released next year in 2017 called, “My God is Holy.” Today he offers inspiration to others who have traveled the dark side, from juvenile delinquents to death row, and offers them a story of second chances, rebirth, and redemption. Music is in his mind, and the Gospel is in his soul, all to and for the glory of His Master, the Lord Jesus Christ to Whom he serves.