Hopkins, Lightnin' - Free Form Patterns 3 x CDs (due to weight, this price for the USA only. Outside of the USA, the price will be adjusted as needed) (Mega Blowout Sale)

SKU 23-Charly J 750
“The definitive edition of Free Form Patterns. This had been released once before on CD in the U.S. on an excreable sounding disc by the hit-and-mostly-miss Collectables label. Those familiar with the older CD will find the sound of this new issue a revelation for sure, it sounds as if you're sitting in on the session. Conversation snippets between Hopkins, the band and the producer on the bonus discs add a heightened sense of realism. The first disc has the original album plus one bonus track, "Black Ghost Blues" which was previously issued on the International Artist rarities collection 'Epitaph For A Legend.'
DISC ONE (48 min.):
1. Mr. Charlie
2. Give Me Time To Think*
3. Fox Chase*
4. Mr. Dittas' Grocery Store*
5. Open Up Your Door*#
6. Baby Child*#
7. Cookings Done*
8. Got Her Letter This Morning*
9. Rain Falling*
10. Mini Skirt*
11. Black Ghost Blues (Bonus Track)*#

DISC TWO (45 min.):
1. Chat 1: "I`d like to get in tune with the boys"
2. Song 1: Give Me Time To Think*
3. Chat 2: Harmonica Players
4. Song 2: Mini Skirt*
5. Chat 3: Lelan, "Is Billy a hippy?"
6. Song 3: Got Her Letter This Morning*
7. Chat 4: Drinking Chat 1: "No no, I don`t fool with nothin` but what I fool with"
8. Song 4: Mixed Up (Previously Unreleased)*
9. Chat 5: Band direction / Billy
10. Song 5: (Mr. Dillon`s) Grocery Store Blues*
11. Chat 6: "You know Mr. Dillon?"
12. Fox Chase false starts / band direction
13. Song 6: Fox Chase*
14. Chat 7: Drinking Chat 2, "I`m the best person in the world when I`m drinking"
15. Song 7: Lord Have Mercy (Previously Unreleased)*
16. Chat 8: Drinking Chat 3, "Don`t think it ain`t got something in it"

DISC THREE (79 min.):
1. Song 8: Rain Falling*
2. Chat 9: Argument over songs
3. Song 9: Cooking`s Done*
4. Chat 10: "Sweet lil` woman, but you ain`t got no hair" and chat
5. Song 11: Mr Charlie
6. Song 12: Straw Hat (Previously Unreleased)
7. Chat 11: "They got a 100 songs"
8. Song 13: Green Onions (Previously Unreleased)*
9. Chat 12: Vietnam song snippet* / Oh Oh lyric
10. Song/chat: Poppa Was A Preacher rehearsal/chat
11. Chat 13; "That had the feeling" finishing session
12. Conversation 1: Trouble in Crockett, Tx
13. Conversation 2: Whiskey on prescription
14. Conversation 3: Musician`s hours: Tommy Hall / Stacy Sutherland
15. Conversation 4: "Where`d you pick up the name Lightnin`?"
16. Conversation 5: "You not gonna mess with Elmore (Nixon) anymore?"
17. Conversation 6: Centerville, Tx
18. Conversation 7: Politics
the musicians:
Sam John "Lightnin'" Hopkins - guitar and lead vocals except "Fox Chase" & "Baby Child"
Billy Bizor - harmonica and lead vocals on "Fox Chase" & "Baby Child"
Duke Davis - bass*
Danny Thomas - drums*
Elmore Nixon - piano#

'Free Form Patterns' and Dave Allen's Color Blind were the only blues albums released by International Artists, who are mostly known for their roster of Texan psychedelic bands. The original album begins with the seven minute "Mr. Charlie," with the first half taken by Lightnin' mumbling an almost incomprehensible story about a boy with a bad stutter who finds he has a hidden talent, but when his solo electric guitar takes hold you're immediately mesmerized. Surprisingly the alternate take on Disc Three is superior. "Give Me Time To Think" is the first of nineteen cuts featuring then contemporary 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS' rhythm section of Duke Davis (bass) and Danny Thomas (drums) who acquit themselves quite well considering Hopkins' habit of adding or subtracting bars from his songs, de rigeur for solo bluesmen such as Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. "Fox Chase' is a shuffle in the mode of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee and features the first of two vocal performance by harmonica player Billy Bizor. Bizor's harmonica mournfully introduces the slow blues of "Mr. Dittas' Grocery Store," a good example of Lightnin's improvised lyrical acumen, the tune inspired by the titular store only a few blocks from the Hopkins' Houston abode. "Open Your Door" and "Baby Child," Bizer's second but slower feature, also includes the piano stylings of Elmer Nixon. "Cookings Done," which only rings true when it's over, features three wonderfully bizarre sloppy off-kilter guitar breaks. "Got Her Letter This Morning," with a great tandem guitar and harp bridge, and "Rain Falling," which may be the original album's most accomplished track, are two sad mournful blues as implied by their titles. The original album ends with "Mini Skirt," a sadly not too lascivious Lightnin' rumination on the '60's fashion fad. The haunting reverb-drenched bonus track "Black Ghost Blues," sounding as if recorded at a session in purgatory, rounds out Disc One.
Discs Two and Three feature alternate takes of many album tracks plus four unreleased songs interspersed with recordings of conversations during the album sessions. At the end of Disc Three there 's also over a half-hour of Lightnin' exposing on various subjects. In some cases the alternate takes are better than those chosen for the album, as are one or two of the unreleased tracks, especially "Lord Have Mercy." There's also a unique version of Booker T. & The MG's "Green Onions" (credited to Hopkins) which showcases Hopkins ability to improvise new lyrics on the spot. Lightnin's business model was a straight $100 per recorded song, in-and-out quick, royalties be damned, but was known to love telling tales, especially when his tongue was loosened by copious amounts of whiskey.
Producer Leland Rogers (brother of Kenny, btw), a fan of the Alan Lomax field recordings , had the inspiration to let the tape roll and recorded almost all of the complete sessions. Interestingly this indirectly caused his dismissal from International Artists shortly after these sessions, for his use of too much tape! In 1975, a few years after IA's demise, Rogers bought all their masters, eventually releasing a box set of all 13 LP's (which I luckily purchased upon release) and the 2LP "Epitaph For A Legend" rarities collection (ditto). Rogers had recorded the Hopkins sessions on any tape that had some blank space, resulting in numerous sections on numerous reels. The compilers had to go through them all and try to match up all the segments in chronological order, but their efforts have produced an oral history along the lines of Blues in the Mississippi Night that will be cherished by true blues fans. My only complaint is, with the extra room available on the first two discs they could've taken the actual songs from Discs Two and Three and grouped them separately as they did on their reissue of RED CRAYOLA's ' Parable Of Arable Land .' A minor quibble, but it would've saved listeners the hassle of programming the discs to hear only the songs without the conversational tracks.
The set comes in a hardcover digi-book with Discs Two and Three in the plastic trays with Disc One in a sleeve with the original (and much more appropriate) artwork, on the last page of the 28-page booklet. There are lengthy notes on the album's history and the truth behind the rumors that have dogged the album over the years by producer Paul Drummond, author of the essential and definitive 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS biography Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound . The booklet also includes the expected complete session information, photos, label scans, memorabilia, poster reproductions, etc. This three disc version of 'Free Form Patterns' could be held as the perfect example of a definitive edition, and is a must purchase for any serious blues or International Artists collector.”-John H. McCarthy
  • LabelCharly
  • UPC803415875023
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