This compilation is a good one-disc introduction to Lightnin’ Hopkins’ work. For one, it’s still in print and relatively easy to find. After being rediscovered during the ’60s folk revival, Legacy issued this best-of collection in the late ’60s, and the emphasis is on acoustic country blues. It’s well nigh impossible to encompass a career as wide as that of Lightnin’ Hopkins in a single-disc compilation, but Hopkins’ engaging personality, strong vocals, idiosyncratic rhythmic sense, and humor do come across on tunes like “Big Black Cadillac Blues.” Also documented are sessions with Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, and Big Joe Williams. While maybe not the tightest collaborations, they’re loose, chummy, and inviting. If you’re looking to get a strong flavor of his trademark Texas country blues without delving too deeply into Hopkins’ back catalog, this compilation, arbitrary as it is, will serve well.
Born: March 15, 1912 in Centerville, TX
Years Active: ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s
Sam Hopkins was a Texas country bluesman of the highest caliber whose…