Lightnin' Hopkins

The Lost Texas Tapes, Vol. 5

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Billed as "Lightnin' Hopkins & Friends," and this is the least engaging of this series of five volumes, partly because of its brevity (26 minutes), and because Hopkins, according to producer Aubrey Mayhew, was drinking on the night that the live material here was recorded, and spent long stretches staring at the floor. But when he played "Back In My Mother's Arms," the sound was as hot as ever. He only does two solo live numbers, and the rest is studio stuff, supported by singer Curley Lee, who joins him variously on "Goodnight Irene," "One Meat Ball," and "Sorrow to My Heart," and is also represented -- as is folk singer Irish O'Malley -- on separate featured numbers. The sources and quality of the recordings vary from song to song, with some disc source material in evidence.

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