Goin’ Away

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Goin’ Away

It was the Winter of 2004 if I remember correctly, although I use the term “Winter” loosely being that I was living in Miami at the time. I’d toyed with the idea of learning to play the guitar now and again, mostly while listening to Dylan’s acoustic stuff, but never followed through for one reason or another.

One day – I can’t remember if it was during the day while toiling away for CBS Sports or at night while under the influence of one thing or another – I recall hearing the stark and beautifully haunting sounds of Lightnin’ Hopkins while listening to Yahoo’s old streaming music service (it was powered by a great little algorithm, which I believe could have easily rivaled the likes of Pandora and Spotify had it been properly managed, but that’s a story for another day).

And that’s when I knew I had to pick up the guitar.

Hopkins’ Goin’ Away is not considered to be one of his most popular songs, but its powerful lyrics and delicious guitar riffs have rattled my brain for years. What appears to be a simple story of love gone wrong is actually a fairly complex tale about a black man leaving home for an extended stint at a prison work camp (whether the crime was real or imaginary, we will never know).

I’m pretty sure that I’ll spend the rest of my days continuing to be transfixed by this song just as I was back in days when I first got acquainted with it. And so I figured why not also spend the rest of my days attempting to pay tribute to the man that put a guitar in my hand by covering his song.

You can get my musical take on the matter over at Spotify or iTunes.

Goin’-Away Goin’ Away

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