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Tag: Lightnin’ Hopkins

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Lightnin’s Boogie: Live at The Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club (Remastered) (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Lightnin’s Boogie: Live at The Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club (Remastered) (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 56:21 minutes | 539 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Justin Time Records

On June 23, 1977, Sam ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins walked onto a small stage in a smoke & whisky filled club in Montreal and proceeded to lay down arguably his last great performance before his death 5 years later. “Lightnin’s Boogie – Live at The Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club” – remastered and available on vinyl for the first time – reveals a master blues man still in full control of his many talents and working the crowd to “Get Up Off O’ Yo’”.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Fishing Clothes, Vol. 2 (1968) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Fishing Clothes, Vol. 2 (1968)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:18:30 minutes | 798 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Jewel Records

These 22 sides offer a very telling portrait of Texas blues giant Lightnin’ Hopkins between 1965 and 1969 when he was recording for Jewel. Almost all of these sides are electric, many of them up-tempo idiosyncratic takes on Texas jump blues or far Western versions of Delta music. West Side has done a fine if not exemplary job of cleaning up sound and getting dates correct, as well as the sidemen.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Autobiography in Blues (1960/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Autobiography in Blues (1960/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:34 minutes | 260 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Everest Records

The famous bluesman’s stellar recordings for Tradition epitomized Lightnin’s spare “country blues” which was in contrast to the brash and bold Chicago blues so commercially appealing at the time. Lightnin’ started his career singing on Houston’s street corners for change and drink and his best performances are those intimate concerts. Lightnin’s first two albums for Tradition (AUTOBIGRAPHY IN BLUES and COUNTRY BLUES) were just that-down and dirty, out and out blues, honest and true-perfect documents of Lightnin’s style, songs and performance.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Broken Hearted Blues (2003) [Audio Fidelity SACD #AFZ-010] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Broken Hearted Blues (2003) [Audio Fidelity SACD #AFZ-010]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 60:35 minutes | Scans included | 2,43 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 978 MB
Audio Fidelity SACD #AFZ-010 | Compiled & Remastered for SACD by Steve Hoffman

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.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Goin’ Away (1963) [APO Remaster 2018] {SACD ISO + FLAC}

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Goin’ Away (1963) [Analogue Productions 2018]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 35:18 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 1,42 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 681 MB

Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, a true poet who invented most of his lyrics on the spot and never seemed to run out of new ideas, was a blues giant of post-war blues whose style was rooted in pre-war Texas traditions. While he cranked up his amp to fierce proportions when performing for his friends at Houston juke joints, producers who recorded him for the so-called folk-blues market usually insisted that he use an acoustic guitar for more “authentic” results. Either way, Lightnin’ seldom made a bad record, and this June 4, 1963, session on which he played acoustic was among his finest, thanks much to the sensitive support of bassist Leonard Gaskin and drummer Herbie Lovelle, who did a remarkable job of following his irregular bar patterns and abrupt song endings.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – The Very Best of Lightnin’ Hopkins (Expanded Edition) (1973/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – The Very Best of Lightnin’ Hopkins (Expanded Edition) (1973/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 02:38:03 minutes | 1,52 GB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Tradition Records

Far from being an actual “best of,” The Very Best of Lightin’ Hopkins comes off as being a largely nonessential purchase many classic songs are absent and there’s a lack of detailed liner notes to even denote which period the tracks are taken from. That’s not to say the material selected isn’t consistently engaging, with tunes like “Trouble in Mind,” “Shaggy Dad,” and the classic “See See Rider” being standouts among the 16 tracks. Contributions from Luke “Long Gone” Miles, Big Joe Williams, Brownie McGhee, and Sonny Terry highlight the collection as well. Most of the tracks, though, sound like alternate takes from other Hopkins sessions and some of the live tracks included are far from essential. Overall, there are bound to be better compilations on the market for similar prices.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – From the Vaults Lightnin’ Hopkins Rarities (1966/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – From the Vaults Lightnin’ Hopkins Rarities (1966/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:22:33 minutes | 818 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Jewel Records

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.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Mojo Hand Anthology (1993/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Mojo Hand Anthology (1993/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:52:03 minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Blues
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Fire Records

MOJO HAND is widely regarded as one of the true masterpieces from Hopkins’ catalog. The material ranges from classic blues to R&B-flavored numbers. There’s even a charming novelty Christmas blues, titled SANTA. These are moody and powerful performances. Despite the variety, the album is remarkably cohesive becuase Hopkins’ amalgamation of styles can be heard within each song.

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Houston & Shreveport Sessions ’63 to ’69 (1969/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Houston & Shreveport Sessions ’63 to ’69 (1969/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 02:56:03 minutes | 1,75 GB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Jewel Records

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.

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