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  • Lightnin' and the Blues: The Herald Sessions
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Lightnin' and the Blues: The Herald Sessions Original recording remastered

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Sam Lightnin' Hopkins was born in Centerville, Texas, March 15th, 1912. When he was around 10 years old, Lightnin' met Blind Lemon Jefferson (one of the most popular blues performers of that era). This encounter was to have a profound effect on Hopkins. He lived the life of a bluesman, even serving time on a Texas road gang in the late ?30s. His first recording was made November 4th, ... Read more in Amazon's Lightnin' Hopkins Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Sept. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Buddha
  • ASIN: B00005B1FN
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Nothin' but the Blues (Remastered 2001) 2:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Don't Think Cause You're Pretty (Remastered 2001) 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Lightnin's Boogie (Remastered 2001) 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Life I Used to Live (Remastered 2001) 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sick Feelin' Blues (Remastered 2001) 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Evil Hearted Woman (Remastered 2001) 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Blues for My Cookie (Remastered 2001) 2:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Sittin' Down Thinkin' (Remastered 2001) 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. My Baby's Gone (Remastered 2001) 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Lonesome In Your Home (Remastered 2001) 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Lightnin's Special (Remastered 2001) 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. My Little Kewpie Doll (Remastered 2001) 2:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Shine On Moon (Remastered 2001) 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Had A Gal Called Sal (Remastered 2001) 2:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Remember Me (Remastered 2001) 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Moving On Out Boogie (Remastered 2001) 2:16£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Great recording by Lightnin' Hopkins. The electric guitar may be lesser in nuance than an acoustic, as others have pointed out, but in force and and emotion it's absolutely fantastic and in unison with Lightnin's voice. Bought this on a dutch bootleg LP 25 years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. A joy to have it on a great sounding CD now. Sam's voice and words touches that most inner core of your emotions and loneliness with an energy that lifts you. This music is up there with the greatest, regardless of genre.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
lightnin' flashes electricity 7 July 2002
By happydogpotatohead - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The legendary Herald sessions are (partially) presented here, remastered and sounding great.
These 1954 recordings have Lightnin' on electric guitar with bass and drums, something that wouldn't happen again for a while. The album that this CD reproduces, "Lightnin' and the Blues," didn't sell, incredible as that may seem now. The market for Lightnin's style of blues was disappearing among black audiences, and record companies were too dumb and/or shortsighted to really try to market the blues more widely than among that audience.
Fortunately for him, Lightnin' was "discovered" a few years later during the "folk blues" boom of the 1960s, where sanctimonious folkies looking for the "pure blues" recorded any bluesman they could find - as long as he was playing acoustic guitar. Lightnin', never one to pass up an opportunity to make a few bucks, pulled out the acoustic and obliged, to the tune of about half a million albums' worth of material.
Unfortunately, the vast amount of acoustic material Lightnin' cut tends to overshadow his electric guitar work, which is at the center of this CD. His electric guitar playing is raffish, offhanded, sly, sinister, and altogether engaging, exactly like his songs.
Lightnin' recorded with bass and drums subsequent to this, particularly for his Prestige/Bluesville sides, but the drummer and bassist on those recordings were altogether too polite and stolid. Here, his accompanists push him, and Lightnin' pushes back, distorted amp and all. This rocks, seriously, and bear in mind this was in 1954, when rock and roll music was largely pudgy white fellas with well-pomaded quiffs playing accelerated versions of swing music. Lightnin's hairy, rough, driven take on the blues here is years ahead of its time, probably one reason why "Lightnin' and the Blues," didn't sell like it should have in its day. In later years, listeners realized how great this album was, and collectors swooped in, soaking up the short supply of original albums, and keeping most people - even Hopkins fans - from hearing this important work.
Here, however, we have the entire album plus extra cuts, in terrifically remastered digital form. Even if you have every other Lightnin' CD out there, you need this one, and if you have never encountered Lightnin' before, this is a great place to start.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
No doubt about it. 4 Sept. 2002
By ty7777 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sam- I hadn't any doubt that he was one of the greats since the first time I heard him pickin' on his aladdin recordings which I suggest over this. This is great though also. First off this is 40:00 minutes so it is a decent length. 2ndly it is a rare Electric Lightin'. It doesn't show his full guitar playing like his solo acoustic work often does like his use of playing bass lines and treble melodies at once. To hear his style of lead playing on an electric though is really an earful. It is serious and shows real roots of Rock Classics too. Sam could have easily been a Chuck Berry or the like, but this is better anyway. The amazing technical prowess overshadows the repetition. Look at it like Robert Johnson's songs where he uses certain rythms and leads frequently but only as a backdrop or a springboard [ And Robert never soloed much, so lightin' has him up there]. The rythm section is part of what stops lightnin' from showing his skills as a guitar player who can play rythm and lead at the same time, though the drums and bass on the slow tunes is usually neither a harm nor a hurt, the fast tunes I think Benefit heavily from the support. On the fast boogies Lightin' does show that he is not pure slow blues here: after all, Sam used to be an entertainer who made people dance. Some of these foot stompers are in such contrast to the slow blues it is pretty much what early rock boogies were based on and shows some mind-boggling playing from lightning with leads and chording. This record is great but then again I like anything I have ever heard by lightnin' and do suggest atleast 2 lightnin' records for all fans of deep down blues. The Complete Aladdin Recordings two cd set and Texas Blues. If you like and have those than I suggest this one too. Anyone that says that lightning isn't technically able because of some of the repetition in licks, is really not hearing what he's playing. Give it a chance. When he does play things over- the notes are so good that I just like hearing them again I don't get bored with it at all. They're tried and true things he repeats. Anyway I think this is very solid and also interesting is the song ''Life I used to Live.'' This is credited as an Eddie Jones [Guitar Slim] song. The music was taken from the song ' The Things that I used to do ' but Lightnin' changed the words almost completely. He made it about a man changing his life and going back to his religous ways. This is not what Slim's song was about but anyway, the melody is the same. Lightnin' even sounds like he's using the beginning of this song once or twice elsewhere. It was an interesting ''cover'' anyway. There's some odd reverb on Sam's voice in parts but overall an excellent set of blues music. Fast tunes, slow tunes, in the middle onces too, all perfect examples of what they are. I believe this was done in 1954. It says on the notes that if you had one of the original copies that it would be worth over 1,000 dollars. Impressive huh?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Lightnin' at his primal best 21 July 2001
By ira povey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sure, Lightnin' tends to recycle his grooves and licks, but each recording has its own feel depending on the musicians he was playing with, electric vs. acoustic, etc. This CD is one of the grittiest, gut-bucket Lightnin's I've heard. Mostly slow blues on electric, accompanied only by a base and metronome-like drummer, this recording was obviously created in the same foggy, pitch black place in the human subconcious as John Lee Hooker's Chess sides. If you have a taste for good blues, this will raise the hair on your neck and have you wondering why no one really plays this style of blues anymore. Do people really prefer the recent studio-slick alligator recordings to THIS?!?!? Buy it. You will not be disappointed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Deep Country Blues Collides Head On With Proto-Rock & Roll 14 July 2008
By Jeffrey Konkel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm of the opinion that Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins never cut a bad record. Even throughout the folk boom of the `60s and his declining years in the `70s, his music was always imbued with humor, honesty and dizzying displays of creativity.

But if you want to hear the cream of the crop, you have to look to his first decade of work - from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s. During this period he jumped from strength to strength, just as he jumped from label to label. He cut great records for Alladin, Gold Star, Modern, RPM, Sittin' In With, Jax, Mercury, Decca and more.
Yet the high water mark may have come in 1954 when Hopkins cut a batch of blistering sides for Herald Records.

More than a half-century on, these cuts still bristle with energy and power. Playing heavily amplified electric guitar, Hopkins is joined by drummer Ben Turner and bassist Donald Cooks. Together the trio manages to mash country blues headlong into proto-rock & roll in a way that never sounds forced. Similar experiments were tried with Fred McDowell and Bukka White in the late 1960s and the results were spotty. But here everything works. Hopkins plays and sings with a confident swagger and his bandmates valiantly hang on for the ride, managing to play with - not merely near - their mercurial leader.

Hopkins made stacks of great records, but these just might be his greatest.

NOTE: In total, Hopkins cut 26 sides for Herald. Many were not released at the time. The material, or bits of it, have been issued and reissued many times. The single-disc Lightnin' and the Blues: The Herald Sessions (released on Buddha Records in 2001) collects 16 of the best from this period and present them in sterling sound.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Lightning Turns on the Electricity 5 Feb. 2011
By Curt A. Enos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Just listened to this for the first time and it is a real eye opener. I have loved Lightin Hopkins for years but this is the most intense effort I have come across from him. Here he is plugged in with a bass player and a drummer brave enough to try and follow Lightnin. It all works here, the slow songs, the rockers, the boogie grooves on here were years ahead of their time and some of the leads just scream on here. Lightin sings like a younger stronger man on here and his voice is clearer and much more powerful on this recording, undimmed by age, tobacco and bourbon. This is a really great window into what a Lightning Hopkins show in a gin joint in Houston must have sounded like in the mid-50's. It is a stunningly powerful recording that shows just how broad and deep this man's immense musical powers really were. Must have for blues, folk, and rock enthusiasts. This is primal and essential.
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