The author of these two illuminating books is French writer, Sebastian Danchin. It's important to mention this fact at the outset, because France has always embraced and acknowledged and talents of American-grown blues players. Much more, in fact, than these blues legends have been recognized on their own soil.
B.B. King is probably the most famous and the most enduring of all of the original blues pickers. Born Riley King in the Mississippi Delta, he took a life mired in poverty and hardship and transformed it into a legendary career that has influenced everyone from U2 to Eric Clapton.
Earl Hooker, second cousin to John Lee Hooker, died in 1970. and not until the year of his death did he even manage to achieve a passing celebrity. A few singles found their way onto obscure albums, but he was destined to fall among the scores of relatively unknown black blues singer/guitar players.
Still, Jimi Hendrix thought his use of the wah-wah pedal (an effect the left-handed guitarist all but called his own) was masterful, and even B.B. King thought he was one of the best players he'd ever heard. Hooker's slide playing was legendary, and his work with such mainstays as Junior Wells, Muddy Waters and King is still copied to this day.
The tales of these two bluesmen are revealed in these books. The writing is full of history and insight, and
Danchin treats both subjects with deference and obvious admiration. Anyone who calls himself a follower of blues needs these in his library.