7.7/10
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The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins (1970)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Short, Music | November 1970 (USA)
A portrait of the great Texas bluesman, 'Lightnin' Hopkins. The film includes interviews and a performance by Hopkins.

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Stars: Lightnin Hopkins
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Lightnin Hopkins ...
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Mance Lipscomb ...
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A portrait of the great Texas bluesman, 'Lightnin' Hopkins. The film includes interviews and a performance by Hopkins.

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November 1970 (USA)  »

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Well worth seeking out
28 December 2011 | by (Alabama) – See all my reviews

Enormously entertaining half-hour documentary that not only showcases late Texas bluesman Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins's famous talent for improvisation (the only recognizable compositions here are snatches of 'Meet Me in the Bottom', a version of Buddy Moss's 'Oh Lordy Mama', and Sonny Boy Williamson's 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl') but--maybe just as importantly--gives the viewer a glimpse of black life in the rural American South. The musical performances, stories, and incidental footage of Centerville, Texas are fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the scenes of Hopkins playing with songster Mance Lipscomb; a few years later, in Bruce Cook's indispensable tome "Listen to the Blues", Lipscomb declared simply that "I can't play with Lightnin' no more" because Hopkins was such a difficult personality. Obviously a must for country blues aficionados (to see how the form survived, authentic and virtually unchanged, well into the 1960s), "The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins" will be of interest to more general audiences as well.


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