Lightnin' Hopkins

Hello Central: The Best of Lightnin' Hopkins

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Before blues punters react with understandable suspicion regarding this Sony Legacy best-of -- especially since Lightnin' Hopkins never recorded for Columbia or any of its subsidiaries -- they should take a long gander at the sleeve notes. The 20 sides collected here, all recorded in either 1950 or 1951, were first issued as juke singles for Bob Shad's Sittin' In With label and its Jax subsidiary, and later compiled on albums issued by Mainstream with titles like Sittin' In With, Dirty Blues, and so on. In addition there are two bona fide hits here, "Gotta Move" and "Buck Dance Boogie." These sides represent one of the most fertile creative periods for Hopkins, who either plays solo or with bassist Donald Cooks. They sting and stroll and ring and roll and have the identity stamp of Texas blues all over them. It's an awesome collection, much of which sees the light of day on CD for the first time.

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