There's something calming about a long stretch of road heading west...
Leaving Albuquerque for Arizona on I40 you see some cool, stereotypical southwest scenery, complete with painted mesas backstopped by blue sky and snow capped mountains mixed in with a whole lotta nothin.' Country oldies and The Grateful Dead provide a great musical backdrop.
They called me up for one song and I ended up doing three sets with them. Hootin' and hollerin' Honky Tonk, 70's and 80's rock, cry in your beer country classics and anything else that struck our fancy. The bar was hot and almost suffocating. I sweated through my stetson in under an hour, making me wish I had brought my straw. It was only a little smoky. Don't know if people were smoking because technically it was a private establishment, or because it was New Mexico and nobody gives a damn.
I left hoarse, beer-soaked and bourbon buzzed, fingertips sore and high on life. I hadn't performed on stage in front of a big crowd in years. It was awesome. Moreso because I didn't have to break down the equipment and haul it home at the end of the night.
I love the southwest; scorpions, snakes, cowboys and indians and all. And I've been over a good piece of it. Some of my favorite traveling music includes The Doors, especially LA Woman and Morrison Hotel, The Last Waltz, and Neil Young. The Dead is also an excellent road companion.
My favorite drives include I-70 heading East from Green River Utah, up and over the Rockies to Denver; Boulder Canyon to Nederland and on up to Estes Park via highway 7; I-40 from Albuquerque through Arizona, and I-10 going up the mountains, through Palm Springs and down into LA. Driving across Wyoming can also be a peaceful relaxing ride, with perhaps some Lyle Lovett, Jayhawks, or Neil Young keeping you company.
What are your favorite drives and what do you listen to when you're on the road?