Thursday, May 9, 2013


One of the best books summing-up the life and music of Lightnin' Hopkins
by the late Timothy O' Brien from the University of Houston (the city was Lightnin's stomping ground) 
and musician and writer David Ensminger

Mojo Hand
University of Texas Press (2013)


Luster said...


I have to tell my Lightnin' Hopkins story. My pal Carl Coleman and I both graduated from high school in the spring of 1970. When fall came. I went off to what was then East Texas State University and he went to Houston to attend Rice. I would hitchhike down to see him from time to time. Each college at Rice had their own dorms and dining hall, and during meal time speakers and such would be brought in. On one of my first visits that fall, we went into the dining hall and seated in the corner was a cool black gentleman in sunglasses and a checkered fedora with an electric guitar and one foot propped up on his amplifier. I seated myself at a table about four feet from him and had my first blues conversion experience. I've been washed in the Mud ever since.

stay close,

Luster said...

Need I say that was Lighnin' Hopkins?

Conrad DiDiodato said...

Lightnin' Hopkins is awesome!

I was just listening to Hendrix playing 'Little Red House' and I now can't help notice the similarities. I'm not a guitarist but I once stupidly thought Hendrix' riffs must have come from heaven or somewhere. What an ignorant young fool I was. I wish, like Mike, I'd had my own first "blues conversion experience" so many years ago.

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Hello to the two bluesbreakers, Mike & Conrad,

I love the stories that come from the blues, listening to the blues, touching the blues.

But here's what I bet: Lightnin' never got his blues lesson from music, even though Blind Lemon Jefferson and such were all around him as a youngster. It was another conversion, and I believe you know what I mean.

I'm a defender of Hendrix, Conrad. My guess is he would be the first to rattle off his influences. In an interview I read with Hendrix, circa 1967 or so, it was his doing that told me about a group called The Band. He played with the Isleys and rubbed shoulders with a massive attack of inspiration from T-Bone Walker, Albert King, and all the other Kings. Certainly Lightnin Hopkins. And then Hendrix did something few in the 60s could do — he greased his playing with black magic and poetry until it was colorless.

Mike, when you mentioned the 'checkered' fedora, I knew who you were with.

play on, Bob