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Linda Hopkins : The Living Legend Live!

As the story goes, back in 1935, 11-year-old Linda Hopkins set about to arrange a benefit concert for her father’s church and brazenly invited fellow New Orleanian Mahalia Jackson to headline. Mahalia accepted, and was so taken with her wee fireball of a host that she affectionately dubbed Linda “the kid.” Now, more than seven decades later, Hopkins, one of the most underappreciated jazz-blues stylists of the past century, is still exhibiting that same youthful vigor. Working through an 11-song playlist, combining two live dates captured at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar & Grill last spring, Hopkins progresses from rollicking (“Let the Good Times Roll”) to racy (“Black Drawers”), sinful (“Evil Gal”) to solemn (“Georgia on My Mind”), proving herself worthy of her idol, Bessie Smith. Great artist, great album, ’nuff said.

Originally Published