Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Great American Road Trip: Music begins

Each day you travel. That journey might involve walking from one room to the next at your home; you might go down the street to market; you might go across the world to see a friend or hit the road to do your work of the day. Each sort of journey will, if you allow it, surprise and change you.

By the nature of their trade, musicians spend much time on the road, and that experience often finds its way into song. Christine Albert and Chris Gage reflect on wishing well to someone striking out on a trip while missing them as they go in Far As You Can See; Tish Hinojosa takes a physical journey, vivid with detail of her well loved New Mexico, to think about change and the moments of leaving in the song Taos to Tennessee, while Ian and Sylvia Tyson look at the same idea from a different perspective and geography in Four Strong Winds.

Caroline Herring considers the layers of history inherent in the roads we travel in Trace; Matt and Shannon Heaton celebrate the possibilities of travel and bicycles with Giant of the Road. Cathie Ryan looks at traveling through life’s uncertainties with hope and grace in Somewhere Along the Road, Gordon Lightfoot celebrates the joys of the journey in Carefree Highway, and Trisha Yearwood reflects on what may be learned in a passage trough holiday celebrations in Take a Walk Through Bethlehem.

There are, naturally, dozens more road songs, from Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land to Lee Ann Womack’s A Little Past Little Rock. This is meant to invite you to start thinking about music and travel, music and landscape, music and journey, and what may be learned from all that.

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I originally partnered up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’d find there. The Library is closed now, but I think you will still find the journeys through music interesting. This from the original post is a bit of background...

It’s meant to invite you to start reading, as well. Over at A Traveler’s Library, host Vera Marie Badertscher is kicking off The Great American Road Trip, a year (and maybe more) of weekly posts on books and films which inspire you to travel through the corners, back roads, byways, small towns, and big cities of the landscape of the United States. She will be posting on this subject every Wednesday. Often, I’ll chime in here at Music Road with suggestions about music and artists related to the state or region she’s visiting. Come join us!

If Irish and Scottish music are what bring you here, have no worries: it's Scotland's year of the song, so great singers ahead, and there are many fine Irish music experiences in store for you along the music road as well. As part of the Great American Road Trip we'll often explore ways Irish and Scottish music have traveled across the seas, also.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

This is a great idea! I can't wait to hear what musicians you choose to cover on this road trip.

I lived in France for 25 years, and the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane" always captured part of the travel experience for me, the necessity to leave behind those you love.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous jessiev said...

love this road trip song article! fantastic!

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Vera Marie Badertscher said...

Kerry: Beautifully written launch to the Great American Road Trip. I am SO excited to be going on this trip with you, and can't wait to listen to some of the music that you have suggested to kick off the trip.

A Traveler's Library

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Kristen J. Gough said...

Very cool. While it wasn't a music soundtrack, I still remember listening to a Hillerman book on tape while driving past Shiprock, NM, which figured prominently into the story.

2:08 PM  
Blogger James said...

Alice Stuart's "Highway Blues" should be on the list for sure.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Road trips and music definitely go together! What a great excuse to just get away from your laptop and your office and have an adventure.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Donna Hull said...

I'm looking forward to this excellent adventure combining music and books.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Authentic Seacoast Resorts said...

What a wonderful article. Music and road trips go hand in hand. Here are our top 10 road trip songs from Nova Scotia, Canada:

1. Maritime Express - Eddie LeGere
2. I'm Movin On - Hank Snow
3. These Roads - Dave Gunning
4. Rollin, Rollin, Rollin - Joel Plaskett
5. Hank Snow - I've Been Everywhere
6.Which Way Does The River Run - Lennie Gallant
7. Oceanside Again - Sons of Maxwell
8. Guysborough Train - Stan Rogers
9. Walk This Road - Bruce Guthro
10. Snowbird - Anne Murray

You can listen to our Nova Scotia playlist here: Authentic Seacoast Nova Scotia Playlist

Hope these get you in the mood to come visit the Nova Scotia Authentic Seacoast.

11:04 AM  
Blogger kerry dexter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:00 PM  
Blogger kerry dexter said...

thank you all for the comments.
I am sure you'll enjoy the trip
Authentic Seacoast, what a great addition, thanks. I'd add Ian & Sylvia's Nova Scotia Farewell to your list.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Stephanie - said...

What would a road trip be without music? Boring, that's what!

3:48 AM  

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