Album Review

Lightnin' Hopkins - Blues In My Bottle

Lightnin' Hopkins

Blues In My Bottle

Prestige Records

Release Date: November 8th, 1961

Words by: Nick Bornholt
January 28th, 1963

8.0

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The blues is a brand of music that leaves no middle road as far as listeners go. Regardless of the ground it broke musically in terms of the progression of other genres like jazz and rock, you either love it or hate it. I find that the blues has a magic to it, names like Blind Lemmon Jefferson, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters and of course Lightnin' Hopkins conjure images of Ray Ban wearing coolness that mere mortals can only dream of. While the somber, often painful, lyrics of a segregated American South combine with absolute instrumental simplicity to form, almost oxymoronically, a complex musical beauty.

Lightnin' Hopkins - Blues In My Bottle It’s heavy, it’s the blues and it is best enjoyed while sipping a wine spodee-o-dee (mix equal parts red wine, dry ginger ale and fresh fruit).

Blues In My Bottle (Prestige Records), is as blues as the blues gets and Lightnin' (named by a studio exec at Aladdin Records, not so bluesy) knocks it out of the park. While essentially handling the bass, rhythm, lead, percussion and vocals from one stool, the real gems on the album 'dc-7′, 'death bells', and the uniquely captivating 'beans, beans, beans' were also penned by Hopkins. But make no mistake, the rest of the album lacks very little, 'sail on little girl' and 'my grandpa is too old' are inspired, and track 7 'jailhouse blues' is a life lesson in 12 Bars.

Though just a taste of Lightnin' Hopkins' provocative and prolific catalogue of songs (some one thousand across his career) if you like the blues, it's a good taste. It's heavy, it's the blues and it is best enjoyed while sipping a wine spodee-o-dee (mix equal parts red wine, dry ginger ale and fresh fruit).

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