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Complete Aladdin Recordings
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop
Forty-three tracks of the seminal bluesman's recordings for Aladdin in the 1940s, The Complete Aladdin Recordings is a must-hear. Performing alone with his guitar or with sparse accompaniment--usually pianist Wilson "Thund... more »
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Forty-three tracks of the seminal bluesman's recordings for Aladdin in the 1940s, The Complete Aladdin Recordings is a must-hear. Performing alone with his guitar or with sparse accompaniment--usually pianist Wilson "Thunder" Smith--Lightnin' dishes out the best of Texas country-blues. Starting off with "Katie May," Hopkins's first recording for Aladdin, the two-CD set winds its way through the guitarist's years with the label, showcasing what he was up to before his decline in popularity and eventual revival with the folk boom of the 1960s. Those expecting the almost-rock & roll of the latter period won't here any of that here, but they will hear its germination in such rollicking tunes as "Big Mama Jump" and "Let Me Play with Your Poodle." Definitely required, not only to hear the best of early Lightnin', but to hear the best of Texas country-blues. --Genevieve Williams
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From the Cotton Patch to the Big City
Robert Slovacek | Houston, Tx United States | 12/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Learning at the knee of legendary Bluesman Mance Lipscomb, Sam "Lightnin" Hopkins blazed an incendiary trail through the urban Texas landscape.These early tracks show the base upon which he built through the 60's and 70's. His concerts were often legendary, including one unforgettable night when he played at the University of Houston, on the same night as Abbie Hoffman was giving a speech across town at Rice University, at a far more ballyhooed event.I know for a fact, because I saw them, and I was one, that most campus politicos chose to attend to Lightnin' instead of Abbie. Us Texans do know our roots.Unforgettable moments of his concerts included such nicities as his swigging from a half-pint of Bourbon, and playing for as long as the tips came in. Late in the evening, his foot would become loose and begin pounding out the rhythm of the bass lines which his drop-thumb played. And a sly grin would sneak across his life-worn face. This was when he would impart his greatest wisdom to us.
He's a legend who has been missed."
Blues as personal as a hushed conversation
possum willie | Budapest | 05/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sam Hopkins was a throwback - a vanishing breed, the troubador, the street musician...and his music was/is intensely personal. Lightning's lyrics and delivery combined with his guitar licks and irregular measures are unique. It's not music to boogie to although I have; it's music to reflect on, to enjoy Lightning's wry humour and observations. Rough around the edges but that's part of its appeal. Most fans will tell you that he was like no other."
An Overlooked Founding Father.
Tom | Palatine, IL USA | 07/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is a lot of John Lee Hooker here, and a lot of other stuff as well...There early stuff has the wonderful gritty feel of Hooker's early pieces like "Teachin the Blues," but then the two start to part company.Lightnin' has an endearing high pitch vocal style that immediately seems wrong for a classic blues musician, but grows on the listener until you cannot imagine the music any other way.The later recordings make use of fun upright piano and slightly rocky tempos.Not as earthy as Hooker, not as blue as Muddy, not as orchestrated as B.B., Lightnin has nicely balanced sound that may not always stictly qualify as blues.Please note: this is a two-disc set! For $12! Ka-Ching."