African American News

"Zakiya Hooker "Keeps It Real" in North and South America with New CD Release"

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keeping_it_real (9k image)San Francisco, CA - When a woman sings the blues it is the most natural rhythm on the planet. Who else to better to know and express the anguish of love and pain or the rollercoaster ride of joy and despair than a woman who has the full experience of marriage, the intimate knowledge of motherhood and the intuitive gift of survival at her fingertips.

Zakiya Hooker brings all this to the table and more with the June 16 release of her fourth CD "Keeping It Real," produced by her husband, Ollan Bell, on their independent label, Boogie with the Hook Records distributed by BDC Distribution. As the daughter of the late, great blues icon, John Lee Hooker, who better to keep it real than Zakiya? The blues sangin' songtress literally has the music flowin' through her veins.

"Keeping It Real" is a jazzy, sassy, soulful serenade of thirteen tracks that span the spectrum of the landscape of the blues. Produced and recorded mostly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ollan spent the last five years there gathering the finest musicians to record music and vocals before coming back to their home studio, John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom Studio, where Zakiya laid her final vocals. The results are an expansive project that find her not only performing a duet with her dad, but also covering a few classics and ultimately, singing the blues in Spanish!

"Keeping It Real" does just that with the opening track "Hug U Kiss U," an upbeat, uptempo, bass heavy cover of a John Lee Hooker original. On "Cold, Cold Feeling" penned by Zakiya with her husband Bell, she slows the pace way down with a blues notion of love lost and gone astray. With "Desconfio" Zakiya proves that she is not new to the blues, but indeed true to the blues, offering her own Spanish language rendition of the Latin American classic.

The vocals of the late John Lee Hooker himself provide the lead segue for the haunting "End of the World Blues," on track six. While covering one of her dad's most famous tunes, "One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer" Zakiya rocks with the assuredness of one who knows her roots and knows them well! She takes us "Over the Top" with a purity of tone that simply cradles the heart with emotion on track eleven. Then Zakiya all but shuts it down on the last track when she joins her late dad for a duet on "Rock These Blues Away."

The Detroit native made her debut performance in 1991 with her dad in Oakland, CA. She has since gone on to perform and record internationally, establishing her own voice in a genre dominated by men. A loyal advocate of the blues, Zakiya is committed to preserving the legacy that nourished her. In addition to touring internationally, she is a spoken word performer advocating the original American art form.

"When I tell you that the blues knows no color, no language, no barrier, I am speaking from experience. "Keeping It Real" has a cast of some of the best musicians in Buenos Aires. This project spanned both North and South America. And though the language was an issue at times, the universal poetry of the blues transcended everything. And that is what keeping it real is really all about," reveals Zakiya.

Zakiya Hooker is a regal combination of sass and soul. "Keeping It Real" is a defining contribution to her legacy as a woman singing the blues. You can keep it real with Zakiya Hooker at .

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