Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lightnin' Hopkins - Lightnin' and the Blues: The Herald Sessions (Buddha, 2002)

Houston blues singer, songwriter and all-around raconteur Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins was primarily known as an solo acoustic guitarist, someone who was so unique that is was difficult for a bassist and drummer to follow him. But he plugs in here, playing electric guitar to great effect and receiving minimal but effective backing. Hopkins could make up a song about pretty much anything, but here he sticks to the time honored blues refrains of bad luck and trouble and the cheatin' women who caused them. A few storming instrumentals provide some very exciting moments, as “Lightnin's Boogie” and “Movin' Out Boogie” demonstrate. “Evil Hearted Woman” and “Don't Think Because Your Pretty” provide Lightnin's views on domestic man/women interactions. An excellent review of this disc on amazon.com called Hopkins' electric guitar playing on this disc “raffish, offhanded, sly, sinister, and altogether engaging” and that is most certainly true. If your experience with his music is just through his subdued (although still excellent) acoustic blues, this will come as a very pleasant surprise. Fans of electric blues or early rock 'n' roll will find much to enjoy here.


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