One of the most weirdly compelling elements of Smokes Like Lightnin' is Mack McCormick's liner notes, reproduced from the original 1963 LP. Almost breathtaking in their ferocity, McCormick's notes characterize Hopkins as a spoiled crybaby whose only redeeming quality is his ability to make music. The album, recorded in three 1962 sessions, consists simply of Hopkins and his guitar, except for three songs that are performed with a full band. The sound is spare and very loose, with a re-recording of "T Model Blues" and the dance song "Let's Do the Susie-Q," a musical exhortation that seems unlikely to inspire dancing. A brief and uneven album, Smokes Like Lightnin' is less compelling than Hopkins' '50s recordings, but strikes an appealingly lazy acoustic groove.
Smokes Like Lightnin' Review
by Greg Adams