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Twilight of the Bluesmen

Houston, 10.06.22

"Back in Houston, visiting the folks while on break from college, Townes went down to the Bird Lounge to witness his hero, Lightnin' Hopkins, live, in the flesh. Van Zandt sat mesmerized as he watched Hopkins's long, black, snakelike fingers chase each other up and down the neck of his old Gibson guitar while he sang about the real people and events that directly shaped his life. There were plenty of cruel boss men, corrupt cops, and no-good lyin' women, always giving "Po' Lightnin'" more than his fair share of trouble. But in the retelling of the daily injustices he witnessed and experienced as a black man in his hometown of Houston, Hopkins would unintentionally become something of a spokesman for the civil rights movement." - John Kruth - To Live's to Fly: The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zand