Lightnin’ Hopkins


Samuel JohnLightnin’ Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982) was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, from Centerville, Texas. … Hopkins was born in Centerville, Texas, and as a child was immersed in the sounds of the blues. He developed a deep appreciation for this music at the age of 8, when he met Blind Lemon Jefferson at a church picnic in Buffalo, Texas. That day, Hopkins felt the blues was ‘in him’. He went on to learn from his older (distant) cousin, the country blues singer Alger ‘Texas’ Alexander. (Hopkins had another cousin, the Texas electric blues guitarist Frankie Lee Sims, with whom he later recorded.) Hopkins began accompanying Jefferson on guitar at informal church gatherings. … In the mid-1930s, Hopkins was sent to Houston County Prison Farm; the offense for which he was imprisoned is unknown. In the late 1930s, he moved to Houston with Alexander in an unsuccessful attempt to break into the music scene there. … In 1959, the blues researcher Mack McCormick contacted Hopkins, hoping to bring him to the attention of a broader musical audience engaged in the folk revival. McCormack presented Hopkins to integrated audiences first in Houston and then in California. He made his debut at Carnegie Hall on October 14, 1960, alongside Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, performing the spiritual ‘Mary Don’t You Weep‘. In 1960, he signed with Tradition Records. The recordings which followed included his song ‘Mojo Hand‘ in 1960. In 1968, Hopkins recorded the album Free Form Patterns, backed by the rhythm section of the psychedelic rock band 13th Floor Elevators. … Hopkins’s style was born from spending many hours playing informally without a backing band. His distinctive fingerstyle technique often included playing, in effect, bass, rhythm, lead, and percussion 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 Hopkins’s music follows the standard 12-bar blues template, but his phrasing was free and loose. Many of his songs were in the talking blues style, but he was a powerful and confident singer. Lyrically, his songs expressed the problems of life in the segregated South, bad luck in love and other subjects common in the blues idiom. He dealt with these subjects with humor and good nature. …”
Wikipedia
YouTube: The Blues Accordin to Lightnin Hopkins (Les Blank – Film), Mojo Hand, Lonesome Road, Lightning Hopkins with Cleveland Chennier, How Long Have It Been Since You Been Home?, “Hurricane Beulah” and “Baby, Scratch My Back” , “Let’s Pull A Party”, Baby, Please Don’t Go, Live 1964, My starter won´t start this morning

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