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All the talk about the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina puts me in mind of Hurricane Betsy, which is coming up on 50 years next month, and especially of the memorialization of that devastating storm by the great Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins:

This was released in 1965 or possibly 1966, so it must have been recorded soon after the events it chronicles.

Lightnin' Hopkins is a great favorite of mine, so here's a little Guitar Lightnin':

(It says "around 1966" onscreen, but this track and "Hurricane Betsy" above were both released on the album Lightnin' Strikes on the Verve "Folkways" label in 1965, I think, but it may have been 1966. It may come as no surprise that I used to have the LP.)

While we're at it, let's go to Louisiana for a little mojo hand:

And finally, let's go way back for a little more:

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Had the great fortune to see Lightnin' Hopkins once in a dance Clifton Chenier opened at Jay's Lounge and Cockpit in Cankton, LA, around 1975. They blew the place open! Just Lightnin on electric guitar and a drummer.

Wow! I never heard of Cankton, LA, let alone Jay's Lounge and Cockpit, but I wish I'd been there. Never heard Lightnin' live.

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All the talk about the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina puts me in mind of Hurricane Betsy, which is coming up on 50 years next month, and especially of the memorialization of that devastating storm by the great Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins:

...

This was released in 1965 or possibly 1966, so it must have been recorded soon after the events it chronicles.

Wikipedia says it was the 4th track on the album "The Texas Bluesman" which, according to allmusic.com, was released in 1969. Was "The Texas Bluesman" a re-release of some of his works?

I know this doesn't mean much, but Rolling Stone Magazine's David Fricke named Hopkins #71 on his list of Greatest 100 Guitarists of All-Time, just ahead of #72 Joni Mitchell, and just behind #70 Eddie Van Halen. We all know how subjective such lists are, but just to be named is a tremendous honor, especially for a lesser-known Texas Bluesman being sandwiched between two such famous performers.

Thank you for introducing us to this great guitarist. When I constantly say that I have a moral obligation curate and safeguard peoples' posts for eternity, it's threads like this which come to mind.

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Wikipedia says it was the 4th track on the album "The Texas Bluesman" which, according to allmusic.com, was released in 1969. Was "The Texas Bluesman" a re-release of some of his works?

I know this doesn't mean much, but Rolling Stone Magazine's David Fricke named Hopkins #71 on his list of Greatest 100 Guitarists of All-Time, just ahead of #72 Joni Mitchell, and just behind #70 Eddie Van Halen. We all know how subjective such lists are, but just to be named is a tremendous honor, especially for a lesser-known Texas Bluesman being sandwiched between two such famous performers.

Thank you for introducing us to this great guitarist. When I constantly say that I have a moral obligation curate and safeguard peoples' posts for eternity, it's threads like this which come to mind.

The discography of a musician like Lightnin' Hopkins is always going to be confusing. He had a repertoire that was constantly shifting but also staying the same, and would perform and record the same material in different settings and styles, as in "Mojo Hand" above, and later would be endlessly compiled and anthologized. I'm not familiar with "The Texas Bluesman", which was released on the Arhoolie label possibly in 1969, but I find references to it coming out in 1968 as well, and don't know if "Hurricane Betsy" even appeared on it, and if it did, whether it was the same recording I used above or some other recording. It would be surprising if Hopkins recording anything only once. I do see on this Allmusic page a track listing for what might be "The Texas Bluesman" on Arhoolie which doesn't include "Hurricane Betsy". To the extent Allmusic says that "Hurricane Betsy" was newly written in 1969, though, it's simply wrong. The song appeared on "Lightnin' Strikes" which was released on the Verve Folkways label in 1966 (although I've seen references to it coming out in 1965 too). As I probably mentioned, I used to own a copy of that LP, although I didn't acquire it until some time in the 1970s.

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