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Lightnin' Hopkins Blues In My Bottle (LP)

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(ACE Records) 11 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1961 'Bluesville' LP album The... more

Lightnin' Hopkins: Blues In My Bottle (LP)

(ACE Records) 11 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1961 'Bluesville' LP album

The technology of the day did not permit the inclusion of both LPs in their entirety, but this is still an extremely good value for money package on this great bluesman.

A decade ago Dove Gorroway opened his late night disc jockey programme over Chicogo's WMAG with whot hos since become o classic one-liner: .1 told it to Wilbur and Hold it to Orville and I'll tell it you.- that thing will never fly.

 As a rebuttal to that sort of thing, a wisp of film is presently making the rounds of TV stations in which Arthur Godfrey, stationed before a large, healthy looking aeroplane, reassures the viewer, matter who makes one of these Lockheed Electros available to you, get in tl and ride without fear". 

With a song, Lightnin' Hopkins now enters the debate. Not for comedy no propaganda but entirely in the spirit of his tradition and with the some egocentric bias that dominates both the mon and artist, lightnin' presents his personal view. In this instance, the view is telling. On 29 September 1959, Francis Hopkins felt and then heard the mid-air explosion of a Braniff Airways turboprop Electra thot scattered the bodies of its 34 passengers over the posy woods where she hod born and raised the five Hopkins children. later, on heormg that her youngest son wos in the hobit of toking aeroplanes - lightnin' hos mode round trips vio DC.7s to California and New York for concert appearances - Momo Hopkins rendered some stern, motherly advice on the subject. The song DC-7 is both appreciation of his mother's words and lightnin's avowal that he will do his travelling via railway in future. 

In one way or another, each of the eleven songs included here is similarly roo0d in Lightnin's realm of experience. For example, My Grandpa Is Old Tool is comic - about family incidents ranging from o parental spat over a forgotten pound of coffee to fond memories of cutting the cake so party to this one in which the young Sam Hopkins warns the neighbourhood children not to pester his aging and feeble grandfather. 

Beans, Beans, Beans is 0 biographical monologue in which light.' recalls the brief, torturous period he worked as one of the 16 men of a Missouri.Pocific track gong that tamped ties ond lined-up roils on the spur lines that now serve the Houston Ship Channel area. Then in his late 20s, lightnin' hod just come to Houston in company with Texas Alexander, a singer whose fome hod come with the recordings he made for the Okoh company in the 1927.34 period. The two had workod os a team trovelling through East Texas ond had decided to try their luck in Houston. Initial difficulties forced Lightnin' to take the railroad job temporarily and this left hirn with o renewed conviction to earn his woy in the world with music.

According to the story that Texas Alexander told on himself, his -or.r hod been interrupted by hosing been sent to jail for singing -bad song-. Though the incident hos never been confirmed it is entirely possible that some local low officer may have token offence at Alexander's unrelenting sense of life. In any case, the story is widely known and having heard it from the older mon himself, has instilled in Lightnin's reluctance to record anything he regards as questionable. However, one outstanding exception is Buddy Brown's Blues, included here with Lightnin' doing o vivid impression of Alexander's -trembling" vocal style. The song is a portrait of 'that lazy Buddy Brown that Is his women do oll the work. - a famed character oround Crockett, Texas some years ago. Alexander's recording wos made in Son Antonio in 1929 with the title 98 Degree Blues. There is nothing in that original to explain its title and one is left to conclude it was hot thot June ofternoon when the Okeh field unit cut their master in a makeshift hotel room studio. 32 years later, on on air-condifioned sly afternoon, there was no problem about heat, but lightnin's Apprehension of o "bad song" still haunted him. He wos tempted .o omit its most memorable verse:

 I got something to tell you make the hoor rise on your head Igo something to tell you make the hor rise on your head Well, I got a new way of loving, moke the springs scrunch on your bed.

In fact, even as he began the song, Lightnin', who only selects his verses a moment before he sings them, was still undecided. However, during the instrumental break that precedes the verse, his eyes fell on so sod a bit of silent cooxing - brushing my hair in such sway as to creole the illusion of its standing on end - manoged to evoke a grin ond his impulsive consent. On heoring the playback lightnin' agreed it was one of his most distinctive performances on record; actually quite a concession for an artist who prefers to believe that everything he does is indiscriminately great.

Among the traditional songs included are two of the best known of the Texas blues though strongely enough neither hos often appeared on record. Some examples doubtless exist but on exhaustive search of old recordings reveals nothing of Goin' To Dallas To See My Pony Run. However in the space of less than o year the song hos been recorded by Mance Lipscomb of Navasota, Texas, by Jewell long of Sealy, Texas, and by Lightnin' in this unusual version employing the See See Rider tune. The piece dotes back to the period before World Wor l when, following the harvest, rural people flocked to Dallas for the racesot the Fair Grounds. However this blues is actually an outgrowth of on old English broadside ballad, The Noble Skewball, which is still sung in the Texas prison farmers in a version that begins "Ohwell - it was a big day in Dallas..."+

By the some token, the title selection Blues In The Bottle, has seldom been given its due position on records. Though it shores phrases with Down Hearted Blues and with a popular tune and shores its melody with Chocolate To The Bone ond Aunt Hoger's Blues, old timers say unequivocally it preceded oll of these and remember it as one of the first songs in which the word blues appeared. Lightnin's version comes from Blind Lemon Jefferson who sang it at East Texos country suppers with his characteristic "Doggone rny bad luck soul" tag line as heard here. However, even before Lemon Jefferson, the song was a sharecroppers' lament, Blues In The Bottom (is river bottom land), sung by the children of slaves who left the farms and settled in the cities at the turn of the century. 

On the one hand, the blues may be  a purely orol tradition in which songs such as Goin' To Dallas To See My Pony Run and Blues In The Boole moy thrive and spread without the benefit of recordings. And on the other hand, there hos been since the 1920s a tremendous interchange between regional tradition and records. It is impossible to soy where Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On moy hove originated. It hos been oround for years and is often associated with the Texas whorehouse pianist Black Boy Shine who recorded it in the 1930s. Lightnin' just soys, "I just heard it around - mostly from piono players - and I got on to it." Wine Spodee-O-Dee 0 one the post war era's rhythm and blues hits that, here, Lightnin' revamps to his own taste, injecting some well. meant flattery when he works in the names of several friends present in the studio. Typical of many songs that hove been born fools single verse that was once part of another song, Catfish Blues grew loss verse that wos long sport of songs like Easy Rider Recordings by Mississippi Dolls singers like Muddy Waters and Elmo James worked the catfish theme into o separate song and with a typical mixture of borrowing and contribution. Lightnin's version finds its own identity. But standing apart from oll the songs of cloudy beginnings, lailhouse Blues was certainly popularised, and possibly originated in Bessie Smith's classic 1923 recording. 11 505 this record thot brought her name to Texas and she become a favourite with the rural street singers. Of oll her well known recordings, in TexosJoilhouse Blues is the one most often associated with Bessie Smith. Such diverse Texans as lightnin. and Leodbelly learned it from her record. Like the core taken from the eorth of 0 prospective oil well site, this album con be regarded oso display of the strata and conformation of the Texas blues. II ncludes some of the first blues, some honk interpretations of records by elder singers and some of the personal and immediate comments of Texas' best known contemporary bluesman. And it includes Death Bells, the song that is unquestionably the most personal of all Lightnin's songs, o piece that lakes its inspiration from the superstition that one's death will be preceded by s premonition of hearing the bell rung during funeral services. lightnin' will say little about the circumstances that caused his to make the song. The date of its first recording for a small Houston company falls about the time of severol of Lightnin's entries on the Houston Police records. He hos mentioned that this wos the time when he gave up his gambling sidelines after some desperate trouble with some out-ohown operators. More thon that, he will not soy, but he will only sing the song when a sense of doom prevails. Sounds like con hear this morMng death bells ringing all on my ear Sounds like I can hear this morning death bells ringing all in My .01. Yeah, I knowed I was gonno leave on o chariot But I didn't know what kind ol choroot gonna coke me away from here. In Blues Fell This Morning, Paul Oliver writes of Deoth Bells as an instance where the sinful blues become oligned with the religious teachings of youth as 'the singer becomes humbled with the imminence of death, though the 'sweet chariot' now swings low on rubber tyres " 'Los of things hove changed in my coming-up days., lightnin' adds, 'but the death bell is always ringing out for somebody I know. I 5005 009 about it except when I feel bod. But you know, after I do sing it, I feel better. I feel like maybe it won't hoppen just yet' 

Article properties: Lightnin' Hopkins: Blues In My Bottle (LP)

  • Interpret: Lightnin' Hopkins

  • Album titlle: Blues In My Bottle (LP)

  • Genre Blues

  • Label Ace Records

  • Geschwindigkeit 33 U/min
  • Vinyl record size LP (12 Inch)
  • Record Grading Mint (M)
  • Sleeve Grading Mint (M)
  • Artikelart LP

  • EAN: 0029667129015

  • weight in Kg 0.21
Hopkins, Lightnin' - Blues In My Bottle (LP) LP 1
01 Buddy Brown's Blues Lightnin' Hopkins
02 Wine Spodee O Dee Lightnin' Hopkins
03 Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On Lightnin' Hopkins
04 DC 7 Lightnin' Hopkins
05 Death Bells Lightnin' Hopkins
06 Goin' To Dallas To See My Pony Run Lightnin' Hopkins
07 Jailhouse Blues Lightnin' Hopkins
08 Blues In The Bottle Lightnin' Hopkins
09 Beans, Beans, Beans Lightnin' Hopkins
10 Catfish Blues Lightnin' Hopkins
11 My Grandpa Is Old Too! Lightnin' Hopkins
Lightnin' Hopkins Lightnin' Hopkins is many people's idea of what a blues-singer should be... more
"Lightnin' Hopkins"

Lightnin' Hopkins

Lightnin' Hopkins is many people's idea of what a blues-singer should be : an endlessly inventive folk-poet, whose imagination is touched by almost everything but whose sing-ing and playing express nothing but the blues. And this, despite nearly 30 years of performing and recording, and all the pressures that might have made him something else, he unswervingly has been. But he has not, outside his own com-munity, been very obviously influential on either American or British rock; his blues, sung by others, are not self-sustaining, as many of the Chicagoans' are.


His early recordings, in the Forties and Fifties, were characterised by thunderous amplification - as any number of reissues demonstrate - but his first ventures into a different market, with acoustic guitar, compensate in subtlety for what they lose in force (e.g. the Folkways and some Bluesville albums). Later sessions placed him with accompanying groups, rarely successfully, though his album for Jewel is an exception.

Through all these records he balances slow blues with vivid boogies, occasionally leaving his guitar to essay an idiosyncratic piano style. Born in Centerville, Texas, in 1912, he spent most of his life in Houston, and his refusal to extract himself from that milieu is the chief reason for his undiminished authenticity as an observer, through the blues, of black life.

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!


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