Berkeley Blues Festival (1966) & Zodico Blues & Boogie (1993)
Radio KAL invites you to enjoy the sounds of nineteen sixty-six from Harmon Gymnasium at the University of California, Berkeley with Mance, Clifton, and Lightning.
Mance Lipscomb: What else can be said.. he’s a Choctaw-Texan blues songster who has had the ultimate honor of being bronzed.
Clifton Chenier Zydeco superstar, of Zodico Blues & Boogie (A 1993 compelation), helped put creole music on the billboards in the 1950’s and 60’s by standard means of bars and studio recording. However, after a short run performing in California, Chenier made a home in French Houston and returned to simple club gigs as his fame faded from the American spotlight. In the early 1960’s the work of a Berkeley label, Arhoolie Records, helped reignite Chenier’s enthusiasm and musical career out of the Houston scene and back onto the American musical map. Coupled with his debut in the Berkeley Blues Festival (1966) and the American Folk Blues Festival in 1969, a European tour, Chenier’s unmistakable French-Cajun blues were never again left behind.
Lightning Hopkins: As the third texan on this Berkeley Blues Festival album, it is apparent that Berkeley was running a bit dry with respect to the diversity of it’s musicians. Fortunately, Hopkins, more so than Lipscomb and Chenier, fit the California mold of Oakland’s 1960’s radical class and style. Sure to keep friends like Blind Lemon and Frankie Lee, Hopkins was no stranger to playing the scene. It would be a few more years before Chenier’s gold grill motif would serve as a bay-area status symbol.