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Lightning Hopkins - The Best Of Lightning Hopkins

CAT. #: 499

Price: $15.00

CD 499

Sam "Lightning" Hopkins was the most poetic, haunting and unforgettable country blues bard, with a personal guitar style, to emerge from the streets of Houston, Texas, during the first wave of Rhythm and Blues in the early 1950s.
Rough, raw, powerful, deeply personal blues from the great Texas bluesman Lightning Hopkins. Alternatvely humorous, sad, biting, joyful, and bittersweet, the lyrics of this legendary singer combine with gritty country blues guitar playing to drive the songs home. The tracks are drawn from Lightning's first recordings for Gold Star Records in the late 1940s, licensed from Bill Quinn, and from his various Arhoolie sessions.

1. Whiskey Blues
2. Come On Baby
3. Grosebeck Blues
4. Mojo Hand
5. Going Home Blues (Going Back And Talk To Mama)
6. Jesus Will You Come By Here
7. Tim Moore's Farm
8. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
9. Big Mama Jump
10. Mr. Crow And Bill Quinn
11. Unsuccessful Blues
12. Bald Headed Woman
13. Zolo Go
14. Please Settle In Vietnam
15. Short Haired Woman
16. The Dice Game
17. Once Was A Gambler


“Forty years after its inception Arhoolie Records remains one of the premiere roots labels and is still going strong releasing new recordings and a steady stream of classic reissues. The Best Of Lightning Hopkins and Fred McDowell collect about an hour's worth apiece of classic music from these two country blues giants and serve as good introductions for the uninitiated.
At 17 songs, clocking in at just under an hour, The Best Of Lightning Hopkins is something of a misnomer considering that Hopkins was one of the most recorded bluesman of all-time recording hundreds of records for a bewildering array of labels. That being said, this a very strong collection drawing on sides that Hopkins cut for the Gold Star label between 1947 and 1950 plus sides that Chris Strachwitz recorded for his Arhoolie label between 1961 and 1969. Hopkins is heard in a variety of settings from solo outings, small band combos and rare instances of him playing piano as on the moving "Jesus Will You Come Here" and organ on "Zolo Go," his take on Zydeco using the organ to emulate the sound of an accordion. Hopkins' stint at Gold Star ranks as one of his most inspired periods and this is underscored on a pair of powerful protest songs in "Grosebeck Blues" and "Tim Moore's Farm" plus poignant numbers like "Going Home Blues" and the marvelous half spoken "Unsuccessful Blues." By the 60's Hopkins music was increasingly geared towards the new white audience that was embracing blues and this is reflected in the nearly dozen LP's he cut for the Bluesville label. His Arhoolie recordings from this period, however, hark back to the raw sound of his early records like on the raucous boogie of "Come Back Baby", wry, humorous songs like "Bald Headed Woman" and the similarly themed "Short Haired Woman" (recorded live at an undisclosed location), his famous "Mojo Hand" and also reflecting current events in the moving "Please Settle In Vietnam."...
Longtime collectors may have a good portion of this material but for those new to either artist these collections should serve as fine introductions to two country bluesman of the highest caliber. Arhoolie also has many more recordings by both artists that you can investigate by checking out the Arhoolie website.”

(Jeff Harris — Bad Dog Blues)