While it’s by no means a comprehensive Lightnin’ Hopkins biography, this issue of ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins Texas Blues’ as part of ‘The Blues Collection’ might be very interesting for seasoned collectors. ‘The Blues Collection’ was a monthly publication distributed in Germany back in the 90’ies. Each month, a CD with accompanying magazine featured a different blues artist or band. I think there was a total of close to 100 different issues, but I’m not sure. Anyway, I don’t have the full collection, just a few selected items. Unfortunately, over course of time and after moving about five times since, I lost a few CD’s and/or printed issues.
What you find in the magazine is essentially a condensed version of a Lightnin’ Hopkins biography, capturing the highlights of careers and noteworthy collaborations with other musicians. As far as the CD is concerned, I think they did a nice job of combining styles and showcasing the broad spectrum of Lightnin’s approach to the blues as a storyteller. I personally probably before his ‘swingy’ pieces a la Black Cat Blues, etc. I always feel that he’s playing his guitar as if it was a boogie-woogie piano. Speaking of piano, on a couple of numbers he’s actually playing both instruments at the same time, so it is said.
All tracks were recorded in New York City on November 15th, 1960. Remarkably, the sound quality is absolutely amazing. I’ve no idea how they did it, but it sounds as if you were sitting next to Lightnin’ playing.
Here is the ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins Texas Blues – The Blues Collection’ track list:
- Black Cat Blues
- Take It Easy
- Mighty Crazy
- Lightnin’ Piano Boogie
- Your Own Fault, Baby, To Treat Me The Way You Do
- I’ve Had My Fun If I Don’t Get Well No More
- The Trouble Blues
- Wonder Why
- Mister Charlie
Unfortunately, based on what I’ve seen online, ‘The Blues Collection’ is not available anymore via the manufacturer (Atlas Verlag). However, you might be able to grab selected copied via ebay. Anyway, for anyone who likes ‘The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins’, you might find it worthwhile doing a little bit of digging to get your copy.