Lightnin' Hopkins

Shinin' Moon

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A budget ten-track reissue, Shinin' Moon is an odd little reissue that has none of Texas blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins' best-known tracks; this is actually nice, because it makes it a good adjunct release to one of the more standard compilations. Annoyingly, however, the liner notes make no mention of when or where these tracks were recorded. Judging from internal evidence such as recording techniques and arrangements, these recordings seem to be from Hopkins' '60s sessions, the ones that first cemented his popularity during the "real folk/blues" boom among college kids and hipsters of the time, but which don't have the rough-edged majesty of his classic 1946-1953 singles. Hopkins' playing and singing don't have the looseness that was his earlier trademark, when his songs routinely dropped and added bars to phrases as if he were making it up as he went along (which he often was; Hopkins was a brilliant improviser). Constricted by a routine rhythm section (with occasional piano), Hopkins sounds like he's holding back. Not really bad, but for fans only.

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