Lightnin' Hopkins

Blue Lightnin: The Jewel Sessions 1965-1969

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Lightnin' Hopkins had a hard and fast approach to dealing with the abundance of record labels he recorded for during his career. The irascible bluesman would show up at the session in question but would refuse to play a note until he was paid his fee upfront. Once paid and satisfied, he'd unpack his stock set of boogie blues riffs and pretty much improvise songs on the spot until he'd fulfilled his agreed upon quota. Then he would leave. This system led to a bloated discography full of similarly constructed and executed throwaway tracks, but Hopkins had a gift for personalizing the blues that came to the fore in the best of these improvised songs, and some gems often showed up in the process. Between 1965 and 1969 he recorded three LPs (Blue Lightnin', Talkin' Some Sense and The Great Electric Show and Dance) for Stan Lewis' Louisiana-based Jewell Records, in what was a relatively long contractual stay for Hopkins. This compilation includes all three of those albums plus an additional 15 unreleased tracks in a two-disc package that will delight Hopkins collectors and archivists but will undoubtedly be way too much Lightnin' for the casual listener.

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