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Lightin Hopkins

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  • In New York (Pure Pleasure) In New York (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

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    In New York (Pure Pleasure)

    Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the most over-recorded artists in the blues genre. The recordings here were made at a pivotal moment in his career. In 1960, at 48 years old, he was no longer a star in the black community, but was becoming a folk legend. His deeply personal music not only reflected the experiences of his community but touched a universal nerve. Chris Strachwitz, who often recorded Hopkins, has called his records »brief audio snapshots of one of the great folk poets to emerge from the African-American experience in Texas.« When he died in 1982 he had recorded well over 600 'audio snapshots'. From his prolific output this Candid session ranks amongst his finest and most intimate work.


    • Lightnin' Hopkins (vocal, guitar, piano)

    Recording: November 1960 at Nola Penthouse Studios, New York City, by Bob d'Orleans

    Production: Nat Hentoff

    About Pure Pleasure

    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.

    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.

    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.

    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.

    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.

    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Take It Easy
    2. Mighty Crazy
    3. Your Own Fault, Baby, To Treat Me The Way You Do
    4. Ive Had My Fun If I Dont Get Well No More
    5. The Trouble Blues
    6. Lightnins Piano Boogie

    7. Wonder Why
    8. Mister Charlie

    9. Black Cat
    Lightin' Hopkins
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Labor Of Love Labor Of Love Quick View

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    Labor Of Love

    Previously Unreleased Late 1990s Recordings

    200-Gram Vinyl Pressed At Quality Record Pressings

    Taj Mahal, Loose And Casual In Informal Recording Sessions With Peers

    Taj Performs With Guest Artists: John Dee Holeman, Cool John Ferguson, Cootie Stark And Algia Mae Hinton

    Tip-On Gatefold Jacket From Stoughton Printing

    The blues live on because the blues give people life, not the other way around. Talk about the blues with Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and composer Taj Mahal, or Tim Duffy, founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, and you'll quickly understand how deeply they grasp this. So it's no surprise that their shared love of blues has created a special vinyl-only album release that's got the loose, easy feel of a porch-sitting guitar strum, sipping sweet tea on a warm summer day.

    Labor of Love comprises recordings made by Duffy, hanging out with Taj and other artists in a Houston hotel room and during visits to the Music Maker Relief Foundation headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

    Taj and Tim first connected in the mid-1990s as Tim was establishing the foundation. The foundation is dedicated to preserving Southern roots music by directly supporting senior artists in need while documenting their music and sharing their stage and recording talents with the world.

    A CD collection released by the foundation featuring Music Maker artists caught Taj's attention. Tim invited Taj to his place in rural Pinnacle, N.C., where he hung out with several of the artists. Taj loved how they played and sang, but he especially loved getting to know their lives and how they made things work.

    Not much time passed before a performing tour was launched, with Taj as the headliner. Meanwhile, Tim, sensing an incredibly rich opportunity, was hauling along with the tour, high-end recording gear. He set it up in hotel rooms hoping to capture an impromptu session. One night in Houston, magic happened. A few senior bluesmen, Tim, Taj and the daughter of Katie Mae, immortalized in the Lightin' Hopkins classic Katie Mae Blues hung out together in a hotel room in Houston. Taj picked up an acoustic guitar and started in on classic tunes - Stack-O-Lee, Walking Blues, and more. The tape was rolling.

    During the time of the tour, Taj was also visiting during hang-out, barbecue and recording sessions at Music Maker's new North Carolina headquarters in Hillsborough. When the music got going, Taj would play some piano, bass, harp, banjo, mandolin and whatever else was needed.

    Now is the time for these immortalized sessions to be heard. So here they are on a solid piece of wax. And what wax it is - a full-on 200-gram vinyl Analogue Productions masterpiece plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings, maker of the world's best-sounding LPs. Packaged in a Stoughton Printing tip-on gatefold jacket. You won't find a more intimate portrayal of Taj as a freewheeling, fun-loving, always-in-the-pocket sideman.

    This title is not eligible for discount.
    1. Stack-O-Lee
    2. Shortnin' Bread (with Neal Patman)
    3. My Creole Belle
    4. I Ain't The One You Love (with Algia Mae Hinton)
    5. Fishing Blues
    6. Mistreating Blues (with John Dee Holeman)
    7. African Wysie
    8. So Sweet (with Cootie Stark)
    9. Klondike Gold
    10. Hambone (with John Dee Holeman)
    11. Walking Blues
    12. John Henry (with Etta Baker)
    13. Song For Brenda (with Cool John Ferguson)
    Taj Mahal
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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