Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lightnin' Hopkins - Rockin' at Herald (Acrobat, 2008)

The great blues guitarist and singer Lightnin' Hopkins had a lengthy career, and made many records for anybody that would provide cash money up front. Many of these records were solo performances with acoustic guitar, but the ones presented here are fascinating not only for their quality, but for the setting, with Hopkins playing some extraordinary electric guitar in a small combo setting. Mixing down in the alley slow blues with riotous uptempo R&B Occasionally music fans and critics will debate what the first rock 'n' roll records were and they never mention some of these sides which is a shame because the energy flowing from the songs like "Hopkins Sky Hop" and "Lightnin's Boogie" is deserving of the highest esteem. When he slows the tempos, he wrings all of the emotion out of songs like "My Baby's Gone" and "Evil Hearted Boogie." I really liked this disc a lot, it shows what a crafty and resourceful musician Hopkins was and of course the music is very exciting.

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