Original 1959 Folkways Album Plus Bonus Tracks!
Although Lightnin' Hopkins had known regional success as a recording artist in the late '40s and early '50s, changing musical tastes soon left him without an audience. However, it was not long before a whole new generation of fans, sparked by the blues folk revival, were knocking on Hopkins' door once more. This time it was musicologist Sam Charters who tracked Lightnin' down. Lured by a bottle of gin, Hopkins took Charters back to his one room apartment in Houston and recorded these ten songs (with Charters holding the sole microphone up to Lightnin's guitar).
Both raw and haunting in equal measure, the resulting self-titled album, originally released in 1959 on Folkways and retitled The Roots of Lightnin' Hopkins six years later, catapulted Hopkins for the very first time into the national spotlight where he was soon being heralded across the country as a giant of the genre. This 180g vinyl reissue from Vinyl Lovers also comes complete with the pair of bonus tracks "So Long Baby" and "The Foot Race Is On" from the same period.
"When I listen to this recording again many years later, I still have the same sense of excitement I felt that day when I sat in his shadowy room with the bottle of gin on the floor, and the sounds of other people in the house drifting through the door. Through the blues revival and on into the 1970's he went on to record many more albums, including some sessions we did together, but this one, still, for me, his most exciting musical statement. Often during those years I was asked if there was some way to describe the country blues, and the easiest way I could think of was to play this abum. Whenever I think of Linghtnin' and his music it is this sound and these blues that come back to me." – Sam Charters, 1990