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Born in Centerville, Texas in 1912, Sam Hopkins, better known as Lightnin' Hopkins, was immersed as a child in the sounds of the blues and he developed a deeper appreciation at the age of 8 when he met Blind Lemon Jefferson at a church picnic. That meeting had a profound effect on the youngster who went on to learn from his older cousin, country blues singer Alger "Texas" Alexander.
Rolling Stone magazine included Hopkins at number 71 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time: "Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins learned the blues from Blind Lemon Jefferson in the Twenties. He was a ferocious electric stylist in the Fifties, though he's perhaps best known for his nimble acoustic fingerpicking during the Sixties folk-blues revival. As unpredictable as John Lee Hooker, he seemed to be making it up as he went along, and often was." (71/100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks)
Hopkins' only accompaniment consists of bassist Leonard Gaskin and drummer Belton Evans, both of whom play in an understated fashion and do their part to make this intimate setting successful. From the remorseful 'Come Back Baby' to more lighthearted, fun numbers like 'You Better Watch Yourself' and 'Automobile Blues,' Lightnin' is a lot like being in a small club with Hopkins as he shares his experiences, insights and humor with you.
In a similar vein to Muddy Waters' oft-reissued Folk Singer is this superlative acoustic session from rural blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins, from late 1960. Playing guitar and backed by just bass and drums, he delivered ten tracks of which at least half are staples of the genre, timed just as the folk revival was giving the blues a much-needed boost. 'Automobile Blues,' 'Mean Old Frisco,' 'The Walkin' Blues,' - for those who crave unvarnished authenticity, but with in-the-room presence, this is a tonic.
- 200g Vinyl
- Mastered from the Original Analog Master Tapes by Kevin Gray
- Plated by Gary Salstrom
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Tip-On Jacket on Thick Cardboard Stock
|Lightnin' Hopkins||vocals, guitar|
- Automobile Blues
- You Better Watch Yourself
- Mean Old Frisco
- Shinin' Moon
- Come Back Baby
- Thinkin' 'Bout an Old Friend
- The Walkin' Blues
- Back to New Orleans
- Katie Mae
- Down There Baby