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Lightning Hopkins

Instantly recognizable with his wandering acoustic style and coarse, emotive singing, Lightnin' Hopkins remains one of the giants of country blues. His career as a bluesman started as far back as the 1920s, jamming with Blind Lemon Jefferson and eventually working as his personal guide, but it wasn't until the big folk blues boom of the '60s that he enjoyed any real recognition, cutting hundreds of songs for as many labels and selling-out college coffeehouses all over the country. A nimble craftsman with language, Lightnin's deeply personal lyrics could be both hilariously funny and starkly harrowing depending on his mood. He was famous for making words up on the spot to fit the occasion, making his live recordings unpredictable and of particular interest. With a staggering body of work that spans from the '60s right up to his death in the '80s and includes such classic narrative blues as "Bald Headed Woman" and the eerie "Black Ghost Blues," Lightnin' Hopkins is an essential figure in the history and appreciation of the blues.

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