Mojo Hand by Timothy J. O'Brien
The Life and Music of Lightnin' Hopkins (Brad and Michele Moore Roots Music Series)

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Synopsis

In a career that took him from the cotton fields of East Texas to the concert stage at Carnegie Hall and beyond, Lightnin’ Hopkins became one of America’s greatest bluesmen, renowned for songs whose topics effortlessly ranged from his African American roots to space exploration, the Vietnam War, and lesbianism, performed in a unique, eccentric, and spontaneous style of guitar playing that inspired a whole generation of rock guitarists. Hopkins’s music directly and indirectly influenced an amazing range of artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Tom Waits, and Bob Dylan, as well as bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and ZZ Top, with whom Hopkins performed.

Mojo Hand follows Lightin’ Hopkins’s life and music from the acoustic country blues that he began performing in childhood, through the rise of 1950s rock ’n’ roll, which nearly derailed his career, to his reinvention and international success as a pioneer of electric folk blues from the 1960s to the 1980s. The authors draw on 130 vivid oral histories, as well as extensive archival and secondary sources, to provide the fullest account available of the development of Hopkins’s music; his idiosyncratic business practices, such as shunning professional bookers, managers, and publicists; and his durable and indelible influence on modern roots, blues, rock ’n’ roll, singer-songwriter, and folk music. Mojo Hand celebrates the spirit and style, intelligence and wit, and confounding musical mystique of a bluesman who shaped modern American music like no one else.

 

About Timothy J. O'Brien

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The late Timothy J. O’Brien held a Ph.D. in history from the University of Houston, where he studied African American history, social movements, and labor history. His music journalism appeared in Houston Press, Free Press Houston, and Left of the Dial. David Ensminger is a writer, drummer, college instructor, folklorist, and digital archivist of punk and vernacular culture. He publishes a monthly column on PopMatters.com. His previous books are Left of the Dial: Conversations with Punk Icons and Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generations.
 
Published April 2, 2013 by University of Texas Press. 294 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Unsatisfying biography of the Texas blues original.

Jan 16 2013 | Read Full Review of Mojo Hand: The Life and Music...

Kirkus Reviews

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Unsatisfying biography of the Texas blues original.

Mar 18 2013 | Read Full Review of Mojo Hand: The Life and Music...

Lightnin' Hopkins was a deeply influential blues musician whose career was filled with staggering highs and lows. After years of toil and a brief prison term in Texas, Hopkins found success in the late 1940s when he was in his 30s. His style of unaccompanied, straight-talking country blues, coupl...

Apr 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Mojo Hand: The Life and Music...

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