See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Need perking up? Try John Lee Hooker's 1966 LP for Impulse, 'It Serve You Right to Suffer'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Of the many productions Bob Thiele oversaw for Impulse, one of the finest has to be a 1965 recording (released a year later) with John Lee Hooker backed by bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Panama Francis, guitarist Barry Galbraith, and engineered by Bob Arnold. Oh, and that's William Wells playing trombone on the cover of "Money." It's really interesting to hear the blues legend paired with jazz session guys — especially because they all just stay locked in on his hypnotic groove. 
Impulse always employed state of the art technology and cutting edge design. It was primarily known as a jazz label, of course, but they did release albums by Mel Brown, BB King, Bobby Bland, and others. They briefly had a folk sub-label, which is what the Hooker record was released on. He was signed to Impulse's parent label ABC, and this was his only Impulse release.
Though often disparaged by blues purists, It Serve You Right to Suffer is clearly one of Hooker's best efforts from the mid '60s. Have a listen to the entire thing via this YouTube link. It just might save your Thursday, as it just did mine. Hooker made so many solid records, well into the 1970s, that it can be awful hard to keep track of them. 


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit