Recorded when Hooker was well into his ’60s “comeback,” Get Back Home features the bluesman in a solo performance (a mode that best reveals the subtleties of his work). The session was recorded in France, and Hooker must have been feeling a bit homesick, as the first song is “Get Back Home In The USA,” where he describes in detail, over his trademark boogie rhythm, his return to his homeland and the joy he knows he will feel.
After this momentary ray of sunshine, though, things soon return to more familiar climes, with the bleakness of the slow blues “T.B. Is Killing Me” and the unbridled despair of “When My First Wife Left Me.” Hooker recorded this tune many times over the years, but this is one of the finest versions, plumbing the depths of shame and regret. Hooker’s raw, biting guitar work is at its best here. Even the umpteenth recording of the Hooker chestnut “Boogie Chillen” is invested with uncommon verve. With the addition of six powerful bonus cuts, Get Back Home is both an excellent introduction into the sultry, menacing world of Hooker and a vital addition to the collections of his hardcore fans.