Lightnin' Strikes

Lightnin' Strikes - released on Verve Folkways in 1966

Texas bluesman Sam "Lightning" Hopkins (1912-1982) was mainly a solo artist with a distinctive style in both guitar and vocals that stands out and is easily recognizable. As a young boy of eight he met and was influenced by bluesman "Blind Lemon" Jefferson and served as his guide while Lightning was a teenager.

Lightnin' Hopkins generally required full payment before sitting down to record and had easily 50+ albums to his credit.  He had a very loose style that did not always conform to strict 12 bar meter and most of his recordings were as a solo artist; his loose style not easily meshed with seasoned studio musicians. 

This album, Lightnin' Strikes, was recorded in Los Angeles in 1965 with Jimmy Bond on bass, Earl Palmer on drums and Don Crawford on harmonica. While his seminal song "Mojo Hand" is tracked, there are a number of blues gems here evocative of the life and times of Lightnin' Hopkins in "Cotton" ("I don't weigh but 95 pounds, 100 pounds is too much for me to pull, they was talking about cotton") and "Hurricane Betsy" ("you know the backwater rising, it's coming all in my windows and doors, my good friend done left me, I may not see his face no more").

Back in the days of vinyl LP's I purchased this album in 1971 as a teenager, it's still a treasured album.

Track listing:

All compositions by Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins 

"Mojo Hand" – 3:13 
"Little Wail" – 2:50 
"Cotton" – 5:57 
"Take Me Back" – 2:55 
"Nothin' But the Blues" – 5:15 
"Hurricane Betsy" – 5:45 
"Guitar Lightnin'" – 4:12 
"Woke Up This Morning" – 4:20 
"Shake Yourself" – 4:15

Listen here.....:

Lightnin' Hopkins - Lightnin' Strikes (1966) - YouTube

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