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Lightnin Hopkins’ ‘Last Night Blues’ and Albert King’s ‘Live Wire/Blues Power’ Come to Vinyl

Lightnin Hopkins’ ‘Last Night Blues’ and Albert King’s ‘Live Wire/Blues Power’ are being released on vinyl later this year.

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Albert King - Photo: David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

Two beloved blues albums are receiving the reissue treatment. Lightnin Hopkins’ Last Night Blues and Albert King’s Live Wire/Blues Power will each receive vinyl releases in partnership with Acoustic Sounds. Both albums are out September 13.

Lightnin Hopkins’ Last Night Blues was recorded in 1960 and released the following year via Bluesville. The album marks the second full-length collaboration between Hopkins and harmonicist Sonny Terry. Last Night Blues captures the Texas guitarist at top form, revealing his witty storytelling and mystifying fingerpicking.

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The early 1960s were a transformative time for Hopkins, who learned to play on a homemade guitar. In 1960, he performed at Carnegie Hall with Joan Baez and Pete Seeger and later played at the Newport Folk Festival. Hopkins was documented by the documentarian Les Blank in two films, The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968) and The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1968).

In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked Hopkins no. 71 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. His music has influenced generations of musicians including Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams, Jr., and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The reissue features liner notes by Scott Billington.

Albert King’s Live Wire/Blues Power was recorded live in 1968 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. Long considered his definitive release, the album was produced by Al Jackson Jr. of the MGs. It is an impressive collection of originals and poetic reimaginings of classics, opening with a cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man.” The collection features several renditions of B.B. King songs including “Please Love Me” and “Look Out.”

Watermelon Man (Live)

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Live Wire/Blues Power peaked at No. 150 on the Billboard 200 and introduced the guitarist to a new audience. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at QRP, this release features a paper-wrapped tip-on jacket and (AAA) lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Matthew Lutthans at The Mastering Lab. The album notes are, again, by Scott Billington.

Buy these blues releases at the Bluesville store here.

 

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