Originally released as The Roots of Lightnin' Hopkins, Smithsonian/Folkways' Lightnin' Hopkins was recorded in 1959. Upon its initial release, it was a pivotal part of the blues revival and helped re-spark interest in Hopkins….
For the 1963 album Goin' Away, Lightnin' Hopkins was backed by a spare rhythm section – bassist Leonard Gaskin and drummer Herb Lovelle – who managed to follow his ramshackle, instinctual sense of rhythm quite dexterously, giving Hopkins' skeletal guitar playing some muscle. Still, the spotlight remains Hopkins, who is in fine form here. There are no real classics here, but everything is solid, particularly "Stranger Here" and "You Better Stop Her," making it worth investigation by serious fans of Hopkins' classic material.
Lightnin' Hopkins was back in his home base of Houston, Texas by 1959, all but forgotten. There he was rediscovered by folklorist Mack McCormick, who shifted Hopkins' image to that of an acoustic folk-blues performer, essentially igniting the flame for the rest of Hopkins' career. This four-disc set collects the acoustic sides the bluesman cut in his new incarnation in 1959 and 1960.
Few Texas bluesmen have dominated their time and place as much as Lightnin' Hopkins. He was the leading performer of traditional Texas blues for over 35 years. In the first part of this video, Lighnin' talks of his career as a bluesman and creator of songs as well as being presented in both informal and concert performances.
Sam (Lightnin') Hopkins was born in Centerville, Texas, March 15th, 1912. Inspired by his brother, he took up guitar at an early age and as a youth met the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson.
A portrait of the great Texas bluesman, 'Lightnin' Hopkins. The film includes interviews and a performance by Hopkins.