Hopkins had been a prolific recording artist in the decade following his first sessions in 1948. His stark, functional guitar style and rich Texas drawl made his work instantly recognizable. The inheritor of a blues tradition that went back to Blind Lemon Jefferson and Texas Alexander, he was an idiosyncratic musician, at his best when playing alone. His predecessors' work was reflected in his first album session, recorded by Sam Charters in January 1959. Not having recorded commercially for several years, Lightnin' was in serious mood, resulting in a set of masterful performances that carried more weight than his later, frequently arbitrary sessions. Later CD reissues have surpassed this work, simply by having more tracks.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic