Lightnin' Hopkins Hello Central: The Best of Lightnin' Hopkins
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sku: SSP 23798
- Released: February 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Mojo (Publisher) - p.994 stars out of 5 - "Even for him, they are superb; voice and guitar ringing like funeral bells across the flat Texas landscape of his birth."
- 1.Home In The Woods (No Good Woman)
- 2.Hello Central (Give Me Central)
- 3.Gotta Move
- 4.Broken Hearted Blues
- 5.Bald Headed Woman
- 6.Buck Dance Boogie
- 7.Freight Train
- 8.Everybody's Down On Me
- 9.Coffee Blues
- 10.I'm Beggin' You
- 11.Why Did You Get Mad At Me
- 12.Long Way From Texas
- 13.Worried Blues
- 14.Happy New Year
- 15.Down To The River
- 16.You Do Too (I'll Never Forget The Day)
- 17.Tap Dance Boogie
- 18.New Short Haired Woman
- 19.Tell Me Boogie (Mad As I Can Be)
- 20.My Heart To Weep
Personnel: Lightnin' Hopkins (vocals, guitar); Donald Cooks (bass instrument).
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins (1912-1982) was a pivotal figure in the evolution of blues--along with John Lee Hooker and a few others, he was a link between acoustic country blues and electrified urban blues styles. Hopkins played electric guitar (though later in his career, during the 1960s folk boom, he'd return to the acoustic) in an improvisational manner, not restricted to the usual 12-bar structure (making it notoriously difficult for most musicians to accompany him). He had a spacious, always-midnight guitar sound that could lunge and bite like a coiled snake, and his voice was an unpolished stray-cat yowl that could be wise, ominous, and/or joyous.
HELLO CENTRAL collects songs, either solo or accompanied by a bassist, recorded in Houston and New York in 1950 and '51, and previously released on the Mainstream label. These recordings capture Hopkins at a peak period, a set of rough gems that anticipates both R&B and rock & roll (the rollicking "Tap Dance Boogie") and conveys the lonesome moan of despair (the baleful "Broken Hearted Blues" and the stark, dissonant "Freight Train Blues"). A fine introduction for neophytes, HELLO CENTRAL is a must for Hopkins fans.
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