A good man feeling bad

The headline is the best statement of the blues I’ve heard and nobody played it better than Sam “Lightnin’ ” Hopkins, who picks, sings and talks the blues in the above video I recently came upon clipped from the 1967 short film “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins.” (Part one, Part two)

A Hopkins blues line was the source of my favorite quote to sustain me in old age, something to the effect of: “I ain’t afraid of dying, it’s just that you have to stay dead so long.”

He was also a source of inspiration to many of the guitar heroes of the Rock Age, in whose wailing sounds you’ll hear a lot of Lightnin’ licks played at warp speed. (His nickname notwithstanding, Hopkins was best known for slow blues shuffles with long runs of triplets that keep drilling deeper and deeper into your gut.)

Not that he wasn’t capable of going up-tempo. I leave you with another video of the old horndog trying to get a party on with a young and demure Joan Baez.


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4 Comments on “A good man feeling bad”

  1. Cute Lunatic Says:

    Good clips, Dave. Thank you. Sounds like you know your way around a guitar. You play? How about some clips of you playing some blues? 😉

  2. David Shapiro Says:

    I haven’t played the guitar since my MS took out my chording hand. It does allow me to lie shamelessly about how good I used to be now that I don’t have to prove it anymore.

  3. Cute Lunatic Says:

    LOL Good one, Dave.

  4. charles Says:

    Nothing beats the blues.


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