Friday, 10 June 2016

Flash Lightnin' / Bad Boogie

(Covers of both albums almost identical)
Lightnin' Hopkins - Volume One: Flash Lightnin'
DIVING DUCK Records - DD 4307

Side A
I Love You Baby
Shine On Moon
Lightnin's Boogie (Boogie Woogie Dance)
Lonesome In Your Home
Remember Me
Sittin' Down Thinkin'
Lightnin' Special (Flash Lightnin')

Side B
Please Don't Go Baby
Don't Think Cause You're Pretty (Blues Is A Mighty Bad Feeling)
Life I Used To Live (Gonna Change My Ways)
Grandma's Boogie (Lightnin's Stomp)
My Baby's Gone
Early Mornin' Boogie (Hear Me Talkin')

Lightnin' Hopkins - Volume Two: Bad Boogie
DIVING DUCK Records - DD 4308

Side A
Sick Feeling Blues (I'm Achin')
Movin' Out Boogie (Let's Move)
Hopkins Sky Hop
Evil Hearted Woman
Don't Need No Job
Blues For My Cookie
Had A Gal Named Sal

Side B
They Wonder Who I Am
Nothin' But The Blues
That's All Right Baby - (Ruth Ames vocal)
Finally Met My Baby - (Ruth Ames vocal)
My Little Kewpie Doll (Bad Boogie)
Lightnin' Don't Feel Well (Wonder What Is Wrong With Me)

These two LP's collect together all of Texan blues guitarist, Lightnin' Hopkins's thirteen singles released on Herald Records in 1954. Recorded in Texas, in April of that year with Donald Cooks on bass, Sam Turner on drums and Ruth Ames singing on two tracks, these are some of his best recordings. From the low down country blues of 'Sittin' Down Thinkin' and 'Life I Used To Live' to the upbeat boogie of 'Movin' Out Boogie' and 'My Little Kewpie Doll' this is Lightnin' Hopkins at his most powerful and electric.

Around this time a rift occurred between Lightnin' and Muddy Waters. Lightnin' saw Muddy as a modernist who would cause the blues to decay, and Muddy saw Lightnin' as a traditionalist firmly rooted in the country blues of the old guard. Despite many of the recordings for Herald being upbeat, electric and modern the record buying public seemed to side with Muddy. None of Lightnin's Herald singles troubled the Billboard charts, whereas Muddy was headed for stardom. Lightnin' did enjoy considerable local success though, and let's face it local success in somewhere the size of Texas is nothing to be sneezed at. International success and recognition were only a few years away with the folk blues boom in the sixties.

Here are my two favourite tracks from the Herald sessions, 'Movin' Out Boogie' and 'My Little Kewpie Doll'. These are the two tracks that made me buy these albums, they were (and probably still are) very popular at rock 'n' roll club nights and sound amazing coming out of a big sound system. Play loud.....

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