Beloved Blues troubadour Lightnin' Hopkins was a master of the mournful Lone Star sound, and a great player of both acoustic and electric guitar. This set includes early recordings and rarities from this great Folk-Blues artist.
Released by Collectables in 1990, Prison Blues is the second in a four-part Golden Classics series of Lightnin' Hopkins recordings that were originally issued on LPs during the 1960s on the Everest Archive of Folk label. (Anyone who frequented the cutout bins in record stores during the '70s probably remembers those marked down Everests vividly.) The entire Golden Classics set was reissued in 2001 as a 63-track package titled From the Vaults of Everest. As a single, 16-cut CD, Prison Blues gives an excellent idea of where Lightnin' was at during the '60s. Some of these blues are slow, thick, and rich like blackstrap molasses. Others ("Good Times," "Keep Movin' On") are propelled by kick drums. "Gonna Pull a Party" and "Til the Gin Gets Here" are pared down, boogie-based romps; "Long Gone Like a Turkey Through the Corn" sounds like a logical extension of what Florida-born guitarist Blind Blake was up to during the '20s. Perhaps the most beautiful interludes in this collection are Lightnin''s rendition of Ma Rainey's "See See Rider" and the amazing "Long Time," a distillation of the entire blues idiom that says everything that needs to be expressed in just one-minute and thirty-nine seconds. ~ arwulf arwulf