Thursday, August 04, 2005

Go West Young Man

And...I'm back. Slightly sore from eternal drives through Nebraska and Iowa (and the beginning part of Colorado aint exactly big'n'beautiful mountains, either), but alive and wellish. A good time had by all, etc.

One of my favorite things about road trips is truck stops. As a microcosm of America, you really can't do much better. The best part, though, is all the fun, useless stuff you can buy. While I skipped the "Ban Sodomy Now" t-shirts, and the "Greatest Patriotic Songs As Sung by The Maple Valley American Singers" cd, I managed to find a swell little "don't tread on me" lighter and, my favorite, a Kum'n'Go baseball hat. Neat.

The most important part of truck stops, though, is (or was) all the great music you could buy. Y'all mostly know my love of truckin' songs, and there was a time when yr local truck stop was filled to the brim with various truckin' tapes or cd's. Well, no longer, it seems. Replaced by Gretchen Redneck, Trace Adkins, Tall and Wealthy, and the like. Very disappointing.

Luckily, all was not lost, and a few stops yielded some musical goodness, keeping my faith in the American heartland hanging on. So, a travelogue of tunes purchased on the road that kept my bloodshot eyes focused through corn, corn, corn.

My favorite purchase, a Groucho Marx collection of odds and sods....some of the usual suspects, plus stuff I've never heard before.

Groucho Marx: Go West Young Man (mp3)

Most folks know at least 2 songs by Johnny Horton: "The Battle of New Orleans" and "North to Alaska". Stone cold classics, both of 'em. From the 10-song The History of Johnny Horton, picked up somewhere between Lincoln and the Colorado border, Horton's take on another classic:

Johnny Horton: Sleepy-Eyed John (mp3)

And, finally, thanks to Sterling, Colorado for finally giving me the gear-jammin' fix I so desperately needed. Jerry Reed's written plenty of truckin' songs, and this fine piece of diesel smoke comes from the masterpiece of cinema, Smokey and the Bandit:

Jerry Reed: East Bound and Down (mp3)

Support yr local truck stop. Keep travel alive.

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