Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Lightnin' Hopkins

  • Blues Masters: The Very Best of Lightnin' Hopkins [Rhino, 2000] A-
  • Blues Kingpins [Virgin/The Right Stuff, 2003]

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Blues Masters: The Very Best of Lightnin' Hopkins [Rhino, 2000]
His juke-joint records long out of juice, Hopkins unplugged because he saw money in folk music. Like a quality gangsta rapper, he was cold, wry, and into his own pain, a ruminative cuss who moved white fans to rave about improvisation as they worshipfully awaited whatever bullshit came out of his mouth. Of this there was way too much--he recorded more than John Lee Hooker, who unlike Hopkins had a beat. That said, Rhino's selection of 16 1947-1961 tracks from nine labels is the solidest album ever to bear his name. Usually there's accompaniment, bass at least, but Hopkins's phrasing is so wayward that the effect is country anyway. Winnowed down to these memorable performances, he's thoughtful and soulful, evocative and surprising--the back-porch poet of folk dreams. A-

Blues Kingpins [Virgin/The Right Stuff, 2003]
See: Recyclables.

See Also