14 January 2012

US road trip playlist : Suggestions wanted!

Our 2012 travel is about to begin, and it's beginning with a bang!  On Sunday we are flying out to San Francisco (and somehow landing before we take off, which never ceases to amuse me), meeting up with the step-sons and then embarking on a bit of a US adventure!  There'll be skiing in Mammoth, followed by a drive through Death Valley.  Then it's on to the bright lights of Vegas, an aerial view of the Grand Canyon, and finishing off with a few days in the lovely San Francisco.  

I can not possibly explain how excited I am about this trip!  Not only are we re-visitng two of my favourite cities, but I'm also going to see some iconic parts of the US that I've never seen before.  And more than that it's the boys first trip to the US - it's going to be so much fun to show them around!

They don't watch a lot of American TV (although the oldest' new favourite thing to watch is The Daily Show, that boy has damn fine taste!) but they have soaked up their fair share of American cultural references (see the celebration of junk food in Over the Hedge, the New Yorkers in Madagascar, and pretty much everything in the Toy Story trilogy).  So, as well as all the big fun stuff we have planned, I'm ridiculously excited about all the little fun things - like visiting a supermarket to gawk at the cereal aisle. Oh, and the food!  Tex mex, steak houses, buffalo wings and sliders served bar-side, a tower of hotcakes for breakfast and Reese's peanut butter cups!  Oh my!

We have a car for a few days, where we'll be driving from Mammoth to Las Vegas, and I'm putting together a road trip playlist.  I want all American artists, and I'm going for a kind of folksy country dreamy driving feel.  Here's what I've got so far:

Then there'll be some Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkle, maybe some Bruce Springsteen?  I'd really like to have Beth Orton on there, but she's Bristish...

So, over to you - if you've got any suggestions sing them out please!


  1. late 60s california: the doors! and Love's forever changes and THE BEACH BOYS!! maybe some nancy & lee? some stevie wonder 'innervisions' if you want something funkier?

    i know they're a bit newer, but calexico and lambchop?

    listening to Simon & Garfunkel's "america" on a bus ride through california is one of the most moving experiences in my life. now you've got me wanting to make a mix cd!!!

  2. Oh thanks! Not sure I'll convince the rest of the car on The Doors but that Love song is perfection, and YES to Stevie!

    Simon & Garfunkle seems to be made for such situations, doesn't it?

    1. Hello! (Trying to "reply" as you requested. Seems to be working...!) Yay ~ you're coming to my part of the world! Sounds like a brilliant trip. I'm just listening to The Shins 'Goodbye Girl' right now and I think they might fit your theme. Whatever you choose, have a wonderful time!

    2. Sufjan Stevens, too, perhaps? 'Heirloom' is playing for me now and it's got that folksy dreamy feeling. ^_^

  3. Janis Joplin, Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks.

    Neil Young is Canadian so if you were going to make a small Canadian section I'd recommend Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, KD Lang, Sarah McLachlan,Jan Arden, Sam Roberts & Arcade Fire.

    I could go on forever for both the US & Canadian playlist :-)

  4. Have an amazing time! I've always wanted to go on a great American road trip but so far I've only been to New York (for a week).

    How about some Dr Hook and Van Morrison… but I think he's Irish…

  5. Oh my, you want music suggestions? Right up my alley:)
    --Bob Dylan (Mr. Tambourine Man-favorite song)
    --Bessie Smith
    --Woody Guthrie
    --Jewel (another favorite artist)
    --Willie Nelson
    --Tom Petty

    This post is so interesting to read. What you mentioned above is available to me daily. I guess it would be like if I were coming over to your country. Have a great time, take lots of pics, and be sure to share a few with us!

    Safe travels!

    Oh wait, are the dogs going to daycare? Or are they traveling with you? Perhaps someone is house sitting for you....I worry about the four-legged ones.

  6. Well you would have to have Born in the USA - whoever sings that, Arlo Guthrie and ALices Restaurant, and yes obviously Bob Dylan, and what about a bit of John Lennon from his (and Yoko's) New York stage (Power to the People)???

  7. I know you've already left (a bit more notice next time please!) but I'm going to hope that you feel like downloading music at ridiculous data-roaming rates.

    Allman Brothers - Ramblin' Man
    Twenty-four hours to Tulsa - Dusty Springfield (OK, brit singer, but it's about America)
    On the road again - Canned Heat
    Born to be wild - Steppenwolf
    Ooh Las Vegas - Gram Parsons
    Ventura Highway - America (I love this song more than is right)
    Train from Kansas City - Neko Case
    California Soul - Marlena Shaw (ok, not folksy, but great song)
    Calexico a thousand times... try the album Carried to Dust, or songs Two Silver Trees and House of Valparaiso for some good samples
    Resurrection Fern - Iron and Wine
    See America - Grant Lee Phillips
    Townes van Zandt - To Live is to Fly
    The Handsome Family - Fallen Peaches

    Ruling out Cruel Sea's This is not the way home makes this playlist invalid, though.

    Sorry for getting carried away.

  8. Oops, you had Dusty already...

  9. Wow what a great road trip have fun its sounds wonderful, well if you are going to Vegas there has got to be some Elvis on that play list.
    Shania Twain, Beach Boys Sunny & Cher & looking at the other lists people have made I am sure you have heaps now :))

  10. Thank you all so much! Great suggestions!


Your comments make me happier than you could possibly imagine. Really! Thank you.