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Lightning Special, Vol. 2
     

Lightning Special, Vol. 2

by Lightnin' Hopkins
 
Most JSP box sets are comprehensive chronological core samples taken from the recording careers of great jazz, blues and country musicians. Some may find JSP's Lightning Special, Vol. 2, subtitled "Volume Two of the Collected Works," to be uncharacteristically difficult to navigate. Chronologically scrambled, this four-CD set also contains so many recordings by

Overview

Most JSP box sets are comprehensive chronological core samples taken from the recording careers of great jazz, blues and country musicians. Some may find JSP's Lightning Special, Vol. 2, subtitled "Volume Two of the Collected Works," to be uncharacteristically difficult to navigate. Chronologically scrambled, this four-CD set also contains so many recordings by other musicians that Hopkins gets pushed aside, as it were, half way through his own retrospective. Yes, this is a wonderful grab bag of Texas blues recordings cut during the eventful years between 1946 and 1956, but Hopkins only appears on 62 out of 106 tracks. Yes, it is exciting to hear so many vintage postwar blues performances by the friends and contemporaries of Hopkins, including Manny Nichols, Lil' Son Jackson, J.D. Edwards, Soldier Boy Houston, Ernest Lewis and Frankie Lee Sims, but with so many guests on board the collection really should have been titled "Lightnin' Slim and His Buddies." The jumbled chronology seems most alarming as Hopkins' very first recordings -- waxed in Los Angeles on November 9, 1946 with pianist Thunder Smith -- show up halfway through Disc C in this second volume of Lightning Special! The inclusion of three rare sides by Thunder Smith without Hopkins is highly commendable, and the music throughout the collection is outstanding. Yet anyone seeking to cultivate an understanding of the man's recorded legacy might well find this sequentially convoluted anthology to be confusing and disorganized. During this time period, Hopkins' records were issued on a bewildering variety of labels, including Aladdin, Gold Star, Score, RPM, Specialty, Sittin' In With, Jax, Modern, Crown, Kent, United and Heritage. Is JSP's approach an attempt to transcend the particulars and go for the heart of the legacy? Maybe the whole point of this volume in the ongoing Lightnin' Hopkins retrospective is to ignore the details, kick back and enjoy the man's amazing artistry -- sort of a Southwestern parallel to that of John Lee Hooker -- and allow his music to be placed into context alongside 44 performances by his chums and competitors. Given the amount of uncommon material included herein, as well as the golden opportunity to study the back alleys of postwar Texas blues, this set is well worth latching onto. But the best way to follow the career of Lightnin' Hopkins, session by session from the very beginning, is still via the superbly researched and carefully presented Classics Chronological Blues and Rhythm Series. Compared to that impressive edifice, JSP's Lightning Special, Vol. 2 seems well-intentioned but confusingly presented, and in this case misleadingly titled.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2007
Label:
Jsp Records
UPC:
0788065779023
catalogNumber:
7790

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. What Kind of Heart Have You
  2. Mad as I Can Be
  3. Ain't It a Shame
  4. Crazy 'Bout My Baby
  5. What's the Matter Now
  6. My Mama Told Me
  7. Highway Blues
  8. I'm Wild About You Baby
  9. Bad Things on My Mind
  10. The War Is Over
  11. Policy Game
  12. Merry Christmas
  13. Happy New Year
  14. Cemetery Blues
  15. I Love You Baby
  16. Shine on Moon
  17. Lightnin's Boogie
  18. Lonesome in Your Home
  19. Remember Me
  20. Sittin' Down Thinkin'
  21. Lightnin's Special
  22. Please Don't Go Baby
  23. Don't Think 'Cause You're Pretty
  24. Life I Used to Live
  25. Grandma's Boogie
  26. My Baby's Gone
  27. Early Mornin' Boogie

Disc 2

  1. Moving on out Boogie
  2. Sick Feeling Blues
  3. Hopkins Sky Hop
  4. Evil Hearted Woman
  5. Don't Need No Job
  6. Blues for My Cookie
  7. Had a Gal Called Sal
  8. They Wonder Who I Am
  9. Nothin' But the Blues
  10. That's Alright Baby
  11. Finally Met My Baby
  12. My Little Kewpie Doll
  13. Wonder What Is Wrong with Me
  14. Late in the Evening
  15. Lightnin' Jump
  16. Leavin' Blues
  17. Moanin' Blues
  18. Walkin' the Streets
  19. Mussy Haired Woman
  20. Trying, Trying
  21. You'll Never Miss the Water
  22. Hole in the Wall
  23. Boogie All the Time
  24. Strike Blues
  25. You Can't Take It with You Baby
  26. So Sorry
  27. The Lazy J
  28. Fannie Mae

Disc 3

  1. Roberta Blues
  2. Freedom Train Blues
  3. Ground Hog Blues
  4. Bad Whiskey - Bad Women
  5. Gone with the Wind
  6. No Money, No Love
  7. Talkin' Boogie
  8. Milford Blues
  9. Cairo Blues
  10. Evil Blues
  11. Gambling Blues
  12. Homeless Blues
  13. Walkin' Blues
  14. Forgive Me Baby
  15. Walking Talking Blues
  16. Tall Skinny Mama Blues
  17. Worried Life
  18. Forgive Me
  19. No One to Love Me
  20. Throw a Little Boogie
  21. Can't Do Like You Used To
  22. West Coast Blues
  23. Little Mama Boogie
  24. Cruel Hearted Woman
  25. Big Stars Are Falling
  26. Santa Fe Blues

Disc 4

  1. Dallas Bebop Blues
  2. Western Rider Blues
  3. Hug Me Baby
  4. Out in California Blues
  5. In the Army Since 1941
  6. Lawyer Houston Blues
  7. Going to the West Coast
  8. Lawton, Oklahoma Blues
  9. Cryin'
  10. Playboy Blues
  11. Hobo
  12. Cold in the Evening
  13. West Coast Blues
  14. Rosa Lee
  15. Shake 'Em on Down
  16. Loudella
  17. Little Mae Belle
  18. No More Lovin'
  19. West Coast Blues
  20. What Wrong Have I Done
  21. In My Girlish Days
  22. Home Again Blues
  23. Cross Country Blues
  24. Don't Forget Me Baby
  25. Single Man Blues

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lightnin' Hopkins   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson   Guitar,Vocals
Donald Cooks   Bass
Buster Pickens   Piano
Frankie Lee Sims   Guitar,Vocals
Thunder Smith   Piano,Vocals
Luther "Rocky" Stoneham   Guitar
L.C. Williams   Vocals
J.D. Edwards   Guitar,Vocals
Ernest Lewis   Guitar,Vocals
Connie Kroll   Drums
Soldier Boy Houston   Guitar,Vocals
Red Johnson & His Orchestra   Drums
Blind Boy   Piano
Miss Country Slim   Vocals
Manny Nichols   Guitar,Vocals
Ben Turner   Drums

Technical Credits

Neil Slaven   Annotation

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