Houston & Shreveport Sessions '63 to '69 (Remastered) Lightnin' Hopkins
- 1Mojo Hand (1966 Version)03:33
- 2Gamblers Blues04:01
- 3Fishing Clothes03:39
- 4Mr. Charlie, Pt. 102:20
- 5Mr. Charlie, Pt. 202:38
- 6Evil Hearted Woman02:42
- 7Lightnin' Jump02:29
- 8Ride in You New Automobile04:12
- 9Little School Girl04:48
- 10Death in the Family04:57
- 11Late in the Evening02:48
- 12Born in the Bottoms05:25
- 13I Feel Like Balling the Jack02:53
- 14Go Ahead03:11
- 15I Wonder Where She Can Be Tonight04:01
- 16Moving Out03:35
- 17Crying for Bread05:47
- 18Rainy Day in Houston05:03
- 19Lonesome Life03:29
- 20Pine Gum Boogie03:30
- 21How Does It02:41
- 22Got a Letter This Morning02:51
- 23My Daddy Was a Preacher Man04:03
- 24Stinking Foot02:54
- 25Walking and Walking03:16
- 26Balling the Jack02:53
- 27The World's in a Tangle03:19
- 28Last Affair02:59
- 29Lonesome Dog Blues02:40
- 30Found My Baby Crying03:58
- 31Move on out, Pt. 102:55
- 32Morning Blues04:38
- 33Wig Wearing Woman03:44
- 34Gamblers Blues (Session)04:00
- 35Rock Me Baby (Take 1)04:54
- 36War is Starting Again03:01
- 37Play with Your Poodle (Take 1)02:02
- 38Old Man00:57
- 39Good as Old Time Religion03:14
- 40You're Too Fast03:44
- 41Love Me This Morning03:24
- 42Got Me a Louisiana Woman02:56
- 43I'm Comin' Home02:51
- 44Breakfast Time03:11
- 45Lightnin' Strikes One More Time02:51
- 46You Just Got to Miss Me04:00
- 47A Man Like Me is Hard to Find04:41
- 48Mini Skirt03:09
- 49Backwater Blues (This Mean Old Twister)02:45
- 50Vietnam War03:45
- 51Wake up the Dead02:46
Info for Houston & Shreveport Sessions '63 to '69 (Remastered)
Texas bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins career was both long and fruitful. He performed live for six decades and recorded for over 30 years amassing a catalogue that was larger than almost any of his contemporaries. Not only was he prolific but he was also a great raconteur and a very good live performer with an ‘act’ honed to perfection at pre-war dances and parties. His guitar playing was unconventional, some have even called it ragged, but it is not as a guitarist that he will be remembered. Somehow the way he set his songs seemed totally apposite and it gave everything he did an authenticity that few others were ever able to match.
Born Sam Hopkins on 15 March 1912, his father was a musician who died when Sam was very young. The family moved to Leona in Texas where he grew up; in 1920 he watched Blind Lemon Jefferson at a picnic in Buffalo, Texas, which inspired him to make a ‘cigar box’ guitar. His older brother Joel taught him to play the homemade guitar before his mother, Frances, encouraged him to play organ at her home church services. However, he was drawn to the music played by his older brothers Joel and John Henry. He soon dropped out of school and started work on a plantation. “I did a little plowin’ – not too much, chopped a li’l cotton, pulled a li’l corn. I did a little of it all.” He, like many other bluesmen, began playing at picnics and dances at local farms on a Friday and Saturday night; later he took to hoboing throughout Texas.
"Lightnin' Hopkins' many albums are remarkably consistent (or all of them sound the same, depending on the way you want to phrase it), featuring his semi-improvised autobiographical lyrics sung over a stock set of slow blues riffs, with the occasional speeded-up boogie tossed in, and now and then a turn at the piano. Whether Hopkins played acoustic or electric guitar really didn't make much difference in his sound, Lightnin' was Lightnin' either way. While this set of recordings he made for New York-based Herald Records (the actual sessions were held in Houston) in 1954 with drummer Ben Turner and bassist Donald Cooks doesn't deviate much from the stock Hopkins template, it is particularly sharp, featuring some of the best electric guitar he ever played. The songs themselves are short, sweet, and to the point, often trailing off after a couple of verses, which gives sides like "Life I Used to Live" an added poignancy while adding an intangible sincerity to cuts like "Don't Think Cause You're Pretty." Hopkins also amps up on guitar more than usual, particularly with the blistering "Hopkins' Sky Hop," making the Herald recordings essential for Hopkins fans. Lightnin' cut 26 tracks at the sessions, 12 of which were originally released on LP as Lightnin' and the Blues in 1960, and then reissued in that sequence numerous times under different titles, including My Baby's Gone in 2005 by Fruit Tree Records, and simply as Lightnin' Hopkins by Dressed to Kill in 2001. Buddha released Lightnin' and the Blues in 2001 with four bonus tracks from the sessions added, while London's Ember Records collected all 26 Herald sides on one disc as Remember Me in 2000. Whatever the version, these are some of the best and most focused tracks Lightnin' Hopkins ever cut." (Steve Leggett, AMG)
Sam Lightnin' Hopkins
Born in Centerville, Texas, Hopkins learned the blues when young in Buffalo, Texas from Blind Lemon Jefferson and his older cousin, country-blues singer Alger 'Texas' Alexander. When Hopkins and Alexander were playing in Houston in 1946, he was discovered by Lola Anne Cullum of Los Angeles', Aladdin Records (although Alexander would not make it out to L.A.) Hopkins' fast finger style is very distinct.
He settled in Houston in 1952 and gained much attention. Solid recordings followed including his masterpiece song Mojo Hand in 1960.
His style was born from spending many hours playing informally without a backing band. His distinctive style often included playing, in effect, bass, rhythm, lead, percussion, and vocals, all at the same time. His musical phrasing would often include a long low note at the beginning, the rhythm played in the middle range, then the lead in the high range. By playing this quickly - with occasional slaps of the guitar - the effect of bass, rhythm, percussion and lead would be created.
In 1968 Hopkins recorded the album Free Form Patterns backed by psychedelic rock band the 13th Floor Elevators.
Hopkins was a great influence on many local musicians around Houston and Austin, Texas in the 1950s and 1960s. He was an influence on Jimmie Vaughan's work and, more significantly, on the vocals and blues style of Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, the keyboardist of the Grateful Dead until 1972. He was also an important influence on Townes Van Zandt, the Texan folk/blues songwriter and performer, who often performed Hopkins numbers in his live performances. Doyle Bramhall II is another Texas artist who was influenced by Hopkins, as evidenced by a tattoo of Lightning on his upper left arm. Jimi Hendrix reportedly became interested in blues music listening to Lightnin' Hopkins records with his father.
A song named after him was recorded by R.E.M. on their album Document.
The Houston Chronicle included Hopkins in their list of "100 Tall Texans", 100 important Texans that influenced the world. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum included Hopkins in a 100 Tall Texans exhibit that opened in September 2006. The display includes Lightnin's Guild Starfire electric guitar and performance video.
Hopkins' Gibson J-160e guitar is on display at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982).
This album contains no booklet.