iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Best of Lightning Hopkins by Lightnin' Hopkins, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Best of Lightning Hopkins

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

While it's probably impossible to fully pin down a best-of from a man who constantly reinvented his own songs, it's only fitting that Arhoolie release this, since Lightnin' Hopkins (or Lightning Hopkins, as he's called here) was the inspiration for Chris Strachwitz to start his label. And while ten of the cuts are culled from Hopkins' Arhoolie recordings, Strachwitz has dug deeper, going back to the bluesman's seminal cuts for the Texas-based Gold Star label in the late '40s, making this a fine career cross-section. Hopkins was the link between the old and the new Texas blues, a man who'd played with the great Blind Lemon Jefferson before going on to influence a generation after his rediscovery in Houston in the late '50s. And while older solo pieces like "Whiskey Blues" and "Grosebeck Blues" seemingly have their roots in the '20s, Hopkins is equally comfortable with a band, as on the riotous "Bald Headed Woman." However, the later material seems geared for his new white audience, unlike the earlier raw juke joint pieces. But Hopkins was a master improviser (much like Bukka White) who could change a lyric on a whim to put across what was on his mind — meaning there was rarely a definitive performance of any song, however high a standard he maintained. But there was also a strain of protest, whether on "Tim Moore's Farm" or the later "Please Settle in Vietnam," that kept his work topical. And, as an interesting aside, "Zolo Go" might be the very first recorded piece of modern zydeco, with Hopkins on organ attempting what his cousin, Clifton Chenier, would later do so successfully.

Biography

Born: 15 March 1912 in Centerville, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Sam Hopkins was a Texas country bluesman of the highest caliber whose career began in the 1920s and stretched all the way into the 1980s. Along the way, Hopkins watched the genre change remarkably, but he never appreciably altered his mournful Lone Star sound, which translated onto both acoustic and electric guitar. Hopkins' nimble dexterity made intricate boogie riffs seem easy, and his fascinating penchant for improvising lyrics to fit whatever situation might arise made him a beloved blues troubadour....
Full bio