Lightnin' Hopkins

Last Night Blues

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Outside of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lightnin' Hopkins may be Texas's most distinctive and influential blues export. His easy, fluid fingerpicking and witty, extemporaneous storytelling are always a delight, and his performances on LAST NIGHT BLUES are no exception. The album is spare and acoustic, with Hopkins's voice and guitar accompanied by minimal percussion and Sonny Terry's harmonica.

Terry's contributions really add a lot to these tunes, threading a high, lonesome whine on the downtempo tunes and a chugging, propulsive shuffle on the faster ones. Hopkins is, of course, one of the kings of the blues boogie, but he's equally compelling on the slow blues, and he never missteps throughout this fine set. All told, this dynamite disc represents what the blues should be: stripped-down, soulful, and full of truth.

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