Lightnin' Hopkins

Posted by The Fretwire on

Usually a 50 year old guy in a cardigan sweater doesn't intimidate me. Lightnin' Hopkins is the exception to that rule. Lightnin was born in 1912 in Centerville, Texas.  I grew up in Centerville, Utah. We have a lot in common. He learned to play at the feet of Blind Lemon Jefferson, playing at Church picnics and other events.  After a few false starts to his music career, in the mid 1940s at the age of 30, he had served some time in prison and was working as a farm hand.  He made another go at his music in 1946, and this time it stuck. By 1960, at the young age of 48, he debuted at Carnegie Hall.  He toured like crazy and recorded many albums. He was a prolific songwriter, a hard drinker and smoker, and wore cardigan sweaters like it was no one's business. In the video below, you get a great feel for the man.  Check out the killer solo after the first verse.  Those are some intense pull-offs, especially for an old Gibson Acoustic. He also adds some percussion to the act.