Lightnin' Hopkins [Smithsonian/Folkways]
Lightnin' Hopkins [Smithsonian/Folkways]

Lightnin' Hopkins

Lightnin' Hopkins [Smithsonian/Folkways]

January 16, 1959

Acoustic Texas Blues

After a great deal of searching, Sam Charters found Hopkins in a one-room apartment in Houston. Persuading Lightnin' with a bottle of gin, Charters convinced Hopkins to record ten songs in that room, using only one microphone. The resulting record was one of the greatest albums in Hopkins' catalog, a skeletal record that is absolutely naked in its loneliness and haunting in its despair.

- Thom Owens

Tiger Rag and All That Jazz
Tiger Rag and All That Jazz

Eddie Condon

Tiger Rag and All That Jazz

1958

Dixieland

In the late '50s, Eddie Condon led this raucous version of his all-stars featuring cornetist Rex Stewart. While a posterboy for the mainstream and trad jazz tradition, Condon still let his bands rip, and rip they do here. This is fiery, in the moment jazz, rife with animated group interplay and a flagrant penchant for improvisatory derring-do.

- Matt Collar