- Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar, steel guitar); Danny Caron, Rich Kirch, Billy Johnson, Bruce Kaphan (guitar); John Sanders (piano); Chester Thompson (keyboards); Deacon Jones (organ); Ruth Davies, Benny Rietveld, Max Cridlin, Jim Guyett (bass); Scott Mathews, Gaylord Birch, Bowen Brown (drums); Raul Rekow (congas); Karl Perazzo (timbales).
- Producers: Carlos Santana, Roy Rogers, John Lee Hooker.
- Engineers: Arne Frager, Samuel Lehmer, Bruce Kaphan.
- Recorded at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, California; The Plant, Sausalito, California; Dragon Studio, Redwood City, California.
- CHILL OUT won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
- Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocals, steel guitar); Van Morrison (vocals, guitar); Roy Rogers (guitar, slide guitar); Danny Caron, Rich Kirch, Carlos Santana (guitar); John Sanders, Charles Brown (piano); Booker T. Jones (organ); Deacon Jones (Farfisa); Chester Thompson (keyboards); Scott Mathews , Gaylord Birch, Bowen Brown (drums); Raul Rekow (congas); Karl Perazzo (timbales).
- Audio Mixers: Samuel Lehmer; Arne Frager; Bruce Kaphan.
- Recording information: Dragon Studio, Redwood City, CA; Plant Recording Studios, Sausalito, CA; Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, CA.
- Photographer: Anton Corbijn.
- One of a series of superb Hooker albums recorded in the '90s, CHILL OUT clearly shows that John Lee remains at the top of his game. The opening (and title) track features guitar god and long time Hooker fan Carlos Santana (with his band). Although quite slick sounding, Santana's Latin funk grooves and typically blistering solo fit suprisingly well with John Lee's gutbucket vocals--a testament to the aging blues man's incredible versatility. Roy Rogers (the blues guy, not the cowboy fast food mogul) reveals himself as an adept and sensitive producer and also adds some very tasty slide guitar on four tunes.
- CHILL OUT includes several Hooker solo guitar and vocal pieces, some of which are among the best of his career. "Too Young," in particular, is chilling in it's sparseness and intensity. Hooker's voice is in great shape and, for a man known for his "talking" style, he can sing incredibly sweetly and melodically when he wants to. On "Kiddio," which features some truly funky piano from the great Charles Brown, John Lee positively croons. Whether with a full band or all alone, John Lee Hooker's talent burns brightly throughout CHILL OUT.
Entertainment Weekly (2/24-3/3/95, p.119) - "...Singing with gruff authority, Hooker could give posturing rockers like the Stones and Aerosmith lessons in aging gracefully....[Hooker] prove[s] that you can be wizened and balding, yet still make compelling rock & roll..." - Rating: A-
Q (3/95, p.101) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Ultimately, CHILL OUT is an essential genre purchase for Hooker's solo acoustic blues....This man hasn't got the blues, he is the blues."
Down Beat (4/95, p.50) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...the living legend's latest is yet another triumph. While Hooker rocks a tad, the poised blues singer and cool-hand guitar picker mostly touches deep soul..."
Living Blues (p.58) - "[T]he mambo-driven CHILL OUT stands out as one of the most perfectly crafted pop performances in the Hooker discography."
Jazziz (6/95, p.95) - "...His voice is a rich and rugged treasure that, in the blues context, truly does improve with time....the sound of Hooker singing with his guitar is simply wondrous..."