Archive for the 'blues' Category


Lightnin’ Hopkins on the blues

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Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins (1912–82) was one of the most prolific recording artists of the 20th Century, with something like 1,000 tracks to his name. Born and raised in Texas, he got his start hanging out with Blind Lemon Jefferson, whom he credited as his major influence. Lightnin’ began his career in the early 1930s, but it was not until the 1960s that he achieved international notoriety. Toward the end of his life he traveled all over the United States and made festival appearances in Europe.

His unique style centered around the “talking blues,”  of which this video is a fine example. It’s a clip from Les Blank’s 1967 documentary The Blues According to Lightnin’ Hopkins. Hopkins was a highly influential “blues man’s blues man,” whose sincerity and musicianship made an impact on the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Frusciante, and even REM. Today his famous Gibson resides in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.