Artist...............: Lightnin' Hopkins
Album................: Lightnin' Strikes
Ripper...............: See Log
Codec................: Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
Version..............: reference libFLAC 1.2.0 20070715"
Quality..............: Lossless, (avg. compression: 32 %)
Channels.............: Stereo / 44100 HZ / 16 Bit
Covers...............: Front Back CD Inner
Released in 1962, this VeeJay collection of solo and small group sides captures Lightnin' Hopkins during a period when he was being heralded by the new, mostly white audience of the "blues revival," as one of the last great practitioners of genuine country blues. In keeping with the popular tendency of the time to gear blues artists toward the R&B and rock markets, a couple of tracks include heavily amplified electric instruments and a thudding rhythm section.
The rest of LIGHTNIN' STRIKES features Hopkins' nimble finger picking and earthy, intense vocals in evidence at every turn. The evocative, almost spectral feel of Hopkins' brand of Texas blues is heightened here by the production's dark, resonant quality, most notably on "Want to Come Home" and "Walkin' Round in Circles."
Lightnin's style was born from spending many hours playing informally without a backing band. His distinctive fingerstyle playing often included playing, in effect, bass, rhythm, lead, percussion, and vocals, all at the same time. He played both "alternating" and "monotonic" bass styles incorporating imaginative, often chromatic turnarounds and single note lead lines. Tapping or slapping the body of his guitar added rhythmic accompaniment.
Much of Lightnin's music follows the standard 12-bar blues template but his phrasing was very free and loose. Many of his songs were in the Talking Blues style but he was a powerful and confident singer. Lyrically his songs chronicled the problems of life in the segregated south, bad luck in love and all the usual subjects of The Blues. He did however deal with these subjects with humor and good nature. Many of his songs are filled with hilarious double entendres and he was known for his humorous introductions.
Hopkins was a great influence on many local musicians around Houston and Austin, Texas in the 1950s and 1960s. His recordings from the early 1960s reveal a lead guitar style that anticipates the popular blues based rock guitar of the later 1960's. Jimi Hendrix reportedly became interested in blues music listening to Lightnin’ Hopkins records with his father. He was an influence on Jimmie Vaughan's work and 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.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, John Frusciante, was influenced by listening to Hopkins around the time of the Stadium Arcadium recordings.
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 who 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 and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
1. (00:03:02) Got Me A Louisiana Woman
2. (00:03:57) Want To Come Home
3. (00:03:13) Please Don't Quit Me
4. (00:04:01) Devil Is Watching You
5. (00:03:00) Rolling And Rolling
6. (00:03:07) War Is Starting Again
7. (00:03:10) Walkin' Round In Circles
8. (00:02:08) Mary Lou
9. (00:02:10) Heavy Snow
10. (00:04:18) Coon Is Hard To Catch
11. (00:05:09) Introduction/Big Car Blues
12. (00:02:23) Coffee House Blues
13. (00:03:25) Stool Pigeon Blues
14. (00:03:41) Ball Of Twine