While Hopkins in his prime could crank out as many albums as there were days in the week (and sometimes more), some dates were more inspired than others and this casual recording is happily one of those times.
In 1959, armed with nothing more than a single microphone mono tape recorder, folklorist Mack McCormick recorded Hopkins in an informal setting in hopes of catching some rough-edged performances that he felt were lacking from the bluesman's then-recent studio efforts. That he succeeded mightily is evidenced in this 15-song collection, almost casual in the way Lightnin' tosses off themes, lyrics, and emotion in a most cavalier fashion.
Even with a thorough Sonic Solution No Noise process cleansing, these tapes still contain vocal and instrument distortion in spots where Hopkins got too close to the microphone. But none of it matters in the end, for here is Lightnin' truly in his element, playing for his friends and his own enjoyment, minus the comercial overlay of the times or the imposed "folk blues" posturing of his later acoustic recordings. Not the place to start, but a real good place to visit along the way.
|A2||Rainy Day Blues|
|A4||Long Gone Like A Turkey Thru The Corn (Long John)|
|A5||Prison Blues Come Down On Me|
|A6||Backwater Blues (That Mean Old Twister)|
|A7||Gonna Pull A Party|
|B2||See See Rider|
|B3||Worrying My Mind|
|B4||Till The Gin Gets Here|
|B6||You Got To Work To Get Your Pay|
|B7||Go Down Old Hannah|
|B8||Hear My Black Dog Bark|
Lightnin Hopkins - Country Blues (1959)
(320 kbps, cover art included)