Lightnin' Hopkins (vocals, guitar)
Ira James (harmonica)
Larry 'Bones' McCall (drums)
Rusty Myers, Ozell Roberts (bass)
Notes: The LEGACY
OF THE BLUES series is the work of blues and folk archivist Samuel Charters. The 12-volume set, of which this is the final installment, was intended to introduce new audiences to then-contemporary recordings of some of the legends of the older, more rustic style of the blues typified by Hopkins, Robert Pete Williams, Bukka White, and Big Joe Williams. The Hopkins sessions, recorded in Houston in the early '70s, feature a small ensemble of harmonica, bass, and drums, as well as Hopkins on guitar and vocals.
As on so many of his recordings, Hopkins is relaxed and confident here, tossing off lyrics with such casual off-handedness that it seems likely he is improvising them on the spot. Hopkins had a gift for taking a great title--examples here include "I Been Burning Bad Gasoline" and "The Hearse Is Backed Up To The Door"--and building atop it, layer upon layer. The observations and asides that make up these songs don't always add up to a coherent whole, but that hardly seems to matter to Hopkins, who conveys in these songs a much more meaningful emotional verisimilitude.