Monday, August 13, 2012

Lightnin' Hopkins - "Life Ain't Nuthin' but the Blues"

When I lived in Waco, Texas I discovered Lightnin' Hopkins. Getting tracks of his songs wasn't very easy as I recall. In fact I have no idea how I got them. But the minute I heard him I knew I loved it. I remember one day my brother walked in, stopped, listened to Lightnin' and said, "what the hell is this shit?" (those were his exact words) I looked at him and realized he didn't get it. He didn't get just a little, he didn't get Lightnin' at all. Then that made me wonder about myself. What is different in me that makes me love the music Lightnin' was making, when the guy I grew up with on a ranch in Texas thought his music was shit? This of course is pre internet, pre google, pre external knowledge of others that might think and like the same things you do. It was just me, my cassette tape of Lightnin' and my appreciation. I just had to accept that I was different and loved that music...period.

 A few times a week I will get my Les Paul I built out and an amp and play along to blues tracks on my front porch. Sometimes I play louder than I should. I grew up on an acoustic but the most fun for me is the blues on an electric guitar. Last Sunday night I put on a blues Pandora station and my wife said, "If you ever become a blues player I'm sorry to say I'll never come to see you play. I just don't have a shred of love in me for the blues." So there it is, even my life long partner, my mate, the mother of my heathens doesn't even get the blues. Life is funny but like I told my 9 year old at Costco, "life ain't nuthin' but the blues." He didn't really get it either. 

I'm happy to say years later I found other people love Lighnin' Hopkins as much and maybe more than me. Currently I'm all crazy over the music being made by Ray Wylie Hubbard. I went to a show and he talked about how he loved Lightnin'. So it's great to know the artists I like like the artists I like too.

No go enjoy some Lightnin' Hopkins on me:

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