Lightnin' Hopkins

Jake Head Boogie

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In the late 1940s and early '50s, Hopkins recorded for Houston record producer Bill Quinn, the results appearing on several labels (including Quinn's own Gold Star company). In 1951, Quinn sold unreleased Hopkins masters to Modern, which issued some of them on its RPM subsidiary. This 31-track disc has all 14 of the Hopkins sides that came out on RPM, plus a bunch of other tracks from the same batch of Modern-by-way-of-Quinn masters; most were not available on CD outside of Japan before this release, and were indeed usually hard to find anywhere. The sounds are what you'd expect from Hopkins if you've heard more widely circulated stuff from this period: Texas blues caught between the rural and electric era, done country style and performed solo, but usually played on a harshly amplified electric guitar that adds to the power. The title track especially has some of Hopkins' most effective guitar, getting into some really crunching and raunchy chords in the breaks. "Bad Luck and Trouble," "Beggin' You to Stay," "Mistreater Blues," "War News Blues," "Lonesome Dog Blues," "Everyday I Have the Blues" -- it's not always the most optimistic fare, although it's delivered with casual good cheer. Collectors should note that some of these sound different from the actual Modern singles, which added a lot of reverb echo; Ace decided whenever possible to use the original acetates, which had only the natural echo of the room in which Hopkins recorded.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:54 Spotify
2 2:44 Spotify
3 2:35 Spotify
4 2:51
5 2:40 Spotify
6 2:48 Spotify
7 2:55 Spotify
8 2:43 Spotify
9 3:13 Spotify
10 2:18
11 1:14 Spotify
12 2:22 Spotify
13 2:54 Spotify
14 2:52 Spotify
15 2:21 Spotify
16 2:32
17 0:59 Spotify
18 2:59 Spotify
19 0:52 Spotify
20 2:38 Spotify
21 2:38
22 2:37
23 2:42 Spotify
24 3:09 Spotify
25 3:14 Spotify
26 2:42 Spotify
27 2:44 Spotify
28 2:17
29 2:56 Spotify
30 2:19 Spotify
31 2:02 Spotify
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