In the March, 2006 edition of Cowboys and Indians magazine, columnist Bill Reynolds put a call out for readers to submit their favorite road trip CD\’s. Mr. Reynolds led off the request with his own list of 12 favorites. His were specifically “for the Drive to the Rodeo.” It was an eclectic gathering and I recognized talent I could appreciate – Jimmy Buffet, Joni Mitchell, Lucinda Williams and, in a nod to the musical talent of his neighbour to the north, the Cowboy Junkies and Sarah McLachlan.
I can get really excited about music, it\’s one of my passions. Naturally this 12 Road Trip CDs was right up my alley and I almost immediately fired off my 12 faves directly to Bill Reynold’s inbox. And, much to my surprise Bill Reynolds replied to me. He wrote something along the lines of “great list, good to see Ian Tyson at the top of it.” I kept that e-mail for years, then my laptop blew up, and that was the end of that.
But, as I recall, my number one CD happened to be Ian Tyson’s latest at the time, Live at Longview.
Since then, he’s released two more: Songs From the Gravel Road and Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories. I highly recommend them both. I am a longstanding fan of Ian Tyson. Not only is he a Canadian icon, a horseman and a true talent, he champions for the land – his land, my land, our land, and I have a great respect for folks like that.
He’s authentic and true to himself. I like that in a guy. Girls can have a little “pretend” in them, a little this, a little that – that’s cool. But guys need to be the real deal. No pretend. No hair color. No botox.
A tattoo is okay.
Back to the road tunes. Since I had so much fun doing this the first time around, and on the off chance that Bill Reynolds might write me again, I’m going to share my new and revised Road CDs with you. I\’ll list them over four weeks, every Friday, counting down from 20 to 1.
Now mind, these are Road CDs, not Pre-Show CDs, which is a different entity entirely. That list might name the likes of Nirvana, the Ramones and even Eminem or 50 Cent, all designed to provide fortitude and strength to the guts upon entering the show ring. Road CDs are all about melting into and enveloping the landscape, as you lean into those kilometers ahead of you. Here’s my top five this week.
Timeless – A Tribute to Hank Williams – Various Artists
When she was a wee one, Teenager daughter often used to request original Hank when we were driving down the highway. She loved all that “hey, good lookin, whatcha got cookin’” stuff and it really was entertaining to listen to her belt it out from the back seat. No one could write or sing it the way Hank did, but I also love this tribute CD and particularly Keb Mo’s and Beck’s interpretation of the classic, mournful Hank, with I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry and Your Cheatin’ Heart.
My Sweetheart The Drunk – Jeff Buckley
“I don’t write my music for Sony. I write it for the people who are screaming down the road crying to a full-blast stereo.” – JB.
Guess that’s why I like it. Last fall, I really got into this vintage CD, some of which was compiled from tapes found in his studio after his tragic death.
Where’d You Hide the Body? – James McMurtry
If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because you’re familiar with McMurtry’s novelist father, Larry, of Lonesome Dove fame. Like father, like son, McMurtry’s descriptive, short novelette songs encompass entire lifetimes and characters, many of which could have been plucked right out of the tragedy-rich lives of the people I seemed drawn to most, in the prairies of my childhood.
Time Out of Mind – Bob Dylan
I purchase, and usually subsequently fall in love with anything produced by Daniel Lanois, and this gem is definitely no exception. A Dylanesque landscape of beauty, this fits the quietness of any night driving, and is particularly special at dusk.
Achtung, Baby – U2
Again produced by Daniel Lanois, my favorite all-time U2, I listen to it when I think I’ve been treading too long on placid waters.
That’s my top five this week. Enjoy and check in next week for five more. In the meantime, let me know your top Road Tunes CD\’s in the comment section below. Name one, name five, whatever you like – just about anything but the Toby Keith Christmas Collection will be welcome in this county – and your name will be entered to win one of three of Ian Tyson\’s Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories CDs, which I happen to know you\’ll love.