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Guitar of Lightnin' Hopkins

For many years Ernie Hawkins has been playing concerts, clubs, blues and folk festivals, workshops, colleges, museums, parties, fist fights and millennium celebrations in the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe and at every stop in the road from A Prairie Home Companion to Antone's to the Madrid Jazz Festival. He has played with blues greats such as Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, Jim Brewer, Rev. Gary Davis and many others.

Ernie has been featured in SingOut!, Fingerstyle Guitar, Dirty Linen, Acoustic Guitar, Blues Revue and Vintage Guitar magazines. He has appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion", "Mountain Stage" , "Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour" and XM radio. Ernie appears on Maria Muldaur's Grammy and Handy nominated and Indie Award winning album "Richland Woman Blues" and was the guitarist for the national support tour.

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    Hard Copy   $29.95  Item Number:  GW804

    Guitar of Lightnin' Hopkins

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    When you hear someone say "Texas Blues Guitar" you may immediately think of Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughn or maybe Freddie King. The invisible presence, buried deep in every one of their guitar riffs, is the true king of Texas blues, Lightnin' Hopkins. Lightnin', who knew Blind Lemon Jefferson as a child, is Jimmie Vaughn's favorite guitarist. Offered here are all the basics, many of the secrets and tricks of Lightnin's deeply accomplished, deceptively simple acoustic Texas boogie guitar style.

    This lesson features rare video footage of Lightnin' from the 1950's and 1960's. Lightnin' plays the tune and then Ernie analyzes it lick by lick. This video presents a wonderful opportunity to go the source of Texas blues and learn from the master who inspired generations of guitar heroes. 

    Titles include: Pull A Party, Goin' Down Slow, Shining Moon, Baby Please Don't Go and Take Me Back

    93 minutes - Level 2/3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD

    Review: Ernie Hawkins does a fantastic job of breaking down the style of Lightnin' Hopkins in a clear and concise style that makes it easy for a relative beginner to understand. I have purchased a few teach yourself books in the past and have had minimal success in picking up the material and didn't have time for lessons. Ernie's DVD puts the instructor right in front of you and walks you through Lightnin's trademark shuffle beats, turn arounds and runs and will have you playing it in no time. Ernie intuitively understands which parts may be more difficult and repeats the instruction as necessary helping you avoid the rewind button. The video quality is excellent and the split screen feature which allows you to see both fret hand and picking hand is invaluable. Also included are some excellent videos of Lightnin' playing the songs himself. I am a huge Lighnin' Hopkins fan and would love to see more of his songs broken down like this in DVD format. (Ernie, are you listening?) :) - Ian Brown

    Review: Of the 40 odd 'How to Play Guitar' videos I own, this is my favorite and the one I go back to every month. I've worked with this video now for about four years and have been making real headway with it for about 18 months. I'm still a ways from improvising blues lines the way Lightnin' does. Like all of Ernie Hawkins' videos, this is not for someone who does not really play guitar. If you are an advanced jazz player, rock player or blues player you will likely get a lot out of this video quickly. I bought it shortly after I took up the instrument with the idea that this was the style I wanted to specialize in. It won't work like that. Lightnin' Hopkins was a very idiosyncratic player. He had a bag full of tricks, which he strung together in different recipes, which enabled him to create his own arrangement of most any song on the spot. He was also adept at playing what he called 'air songs,' songs that he could make up on the spur of the moment. His guitar style is much more formidable than it appears to the untrained guitar player. Lightnin' Hopkins might easily be seen as the father of Rock and Roll guitar playing. It's easy to hear that players like Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Scotty Moore owe a considerable debt to Lightnin' Hopkins' style which is what attracted me to this video in the first place. Apart from being a blues guitar virtuoso, Ernie Hawkins is the foremost guitar style imitator of all the blues giants. His two volume expose on Mance Lipscomb is the natural next step after mastering Lightnin' but I have to confess, I'm still working hard on Lightnin' and hope I advance enough to tackle Mance before the end of 2006. - Patrick King



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