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Friday Five – Road Songs for your Stay-cation

July 25, 2008

As much as we would all like to load the kids into the Griswold family wagon and make that California trip down Route 66, gasoline is just too dang expensive.  So let’s hit the road, Jack, by naming some songs about roads, mean streets, highways and byways.

Steve Earle once said (well, he’s never said anything just once) that there are two kinds of songs – songs about girls and songs about roads.  The road is a great metaphor for life, and all that’s left to sing about is love. 

  1. Walking Down Your Street – The Bangles.  Man I love the Bangles.  Their vocal sound just slays me. 
  2. Gulf Coast Highway – Nanci Griffith.  This is one of those career-defining songs.  If Nanci had written this and nothing else I’d still think she was a genius.
  3. The Road Goes On Forever – Robert Earl Keen.  A classic Americana Bonnie-and-Clyde story.
  4. Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan, Johnny Winter.  I can’t say that I prefer either version of this song.  Both are wild.
  5. Cotton Fields and Crossroads – Los Lonely Boys.  Sure it was tempting to use Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson or Crossroads by Cream (same song) but I wanted to throw a curveball here.  Besides, Henry Garza is an incredible guitarist.

Bonus: since we started with Steve Earle, I thought I’d better pick one of his road songs.  So let’s roll with Steve down that ol’ Hillbilly Highway.

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