Lightnin' Hopkins

A Man Like Me Is Hard to Find: Rarities & Gems

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Lightnin' Hopkins was arguably the most prolific blues artist of his time: he was famously willing to record for anyone at any time as long as they had cash on the barrelhead, and he seemed capable of willing songs into spontaneous existence, taking a handful of riffs and licks and shaping them into new tunes at the drop of a hat while he free associated lyrics that spun blues archetypes into striking found poetry. Given how much he recorded, it's remarkable that most of what Hopkins turned out was quite good, and while his albums were frequently inconsistent, nearly all of them had at least a few moments where his languid guitar lines and gruff vocals would cohere into something remarkable that would send a chill down your spine. That's certainly the case with A Man Like Me Is Hard to Find, a collection of lesser-known sides mostly drawn from Hopkins' sessions for Jewel/Paula Records and Fire/Fury Records in the '60s, with a few live performances included. Hopkins' best-known songs aren't featured here, and if you're in the market for a collection of his best and most memorable work, you'd be better off with Rhino's Mojo Hand: The Anthology. But fans of the idiosyncratic Texas bluesman (especially those who enjoy his more folk-oriented material) will find plenty to enjoy here; Hopkins' hypnotic journey into the beating heart of the country blues is habit forming in the right dosage, and if you have the habit, this will certainly satisfy your cravings.

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