Happy Sunday P.O.U.!
Sit back and enjoy the sounds of Lighnin’ Hopkins.
Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982)better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, was an American country bluessinger, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, from Houston, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine included Hopkins at number 71 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Robert “Mack” McCormick stated, “Hopkins is the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act”.
Hopkins’ style was born from spending many hours playing informally without a backing band. His distinctive fingerstyle playing often included playing, in effect, bass, rhythm, lead,percussion, and vocals, all at the same time. He played both “alternating” and “monotonic” bass styles incorporating imaginative, often chromatic turnarounds and single note lead lines. Tapping or slapping the body of his guitar added rhythmic accompaniment.
Baby Please Don’t Go
Much of Hopkins’ music follows the standard 12-bar blues template but his phrasing was very free and loose. Many of his songs were in the talking blues style, but he was a powerful and confident singer. Lyrically his songs chronicled the problems of life in the segregated south, bad luck in love and other usual subjects of the blues idiom. He did however deal with these subjects with humor and good nature. Many of his songs are filled with double entendres and he was known for his humorous introductions.
Statue of Lightnin’ Hopkins in Texas
Some of his songs were of warning and sour prediction such as “Fast Life Woman”:
- “You may see a fast life woman sittin’ round a whiskey joint,
- Yes, you know, she’ll be sittin’ there smilin’,
- ‘Cause she knows some man gonna buy her half a pint,
- Take it easy, fast life woman, ’cause you ain’t gon’ live always…“
***All information courtesy of Wikipedia.org***