Friday, August 20, 2010

In the Middle of Somewhere.....

Backroads Product-Songs for the Road

On one of the hiking forums a woman hiker was commenting on her need to get out of Seattle and "get to the middle of somewhere".  Now if your reading this blog you know the importance to get to the "middle of somewhere".  Most of society tends to refer to these area's as the "middle of nowhere", but we know better.

This posting is about songwriters that write songs about the "middle of somewhere".  Generally, these will have a western bent.  The "middle of somewhere" is also a great place to reflect on life and the times of our lives.

You already know Ian Tyson from the sixties folk group Ian and Sylvia.  You might even know that he wrote songs like "Four Strong Winds" and "Someday Soon".  Even though I kept my Ian and Sylvia albums I lost track of the fact that Ian was still recording.  This is  his best album with lots of great songs.

If you travel the west you will recognize the places.  If you lived and worked in the west years ago you will recognize songs like "Summer Wages" and "Navajo Rug".

These are western songs.  Not country, but western.  Great CD to listen to and I can guarantee that if will stay in the CD player for months.   There is road music that moves the miles and there is road music that moves the memory.  This is the latter.

Heidi Muller is a folk singer from Seattle.  But many of her songs are about the rural areas of eastern Washington.   The album "Matters of the Heart" is good, but my preference is for this album:  Cassiopeia.  I particularly like "Long Way to Another Friend", "Palouse Lullaby", and "Cassiopeia" which combines the constellations with backroads of eastern Washington.

These are great songs, with simple instrumentation.  If you like folk at all, you will like these albums.  One of the great things about digital recordings is acoustic instruments sound great on them.  Clean sound that makes it seem like your right there if you have a good speaker system.

If you have ever been in the Palouse country you will love this album.

This CD Kelly L.Riley "My Kind of Road" is about the backroads of the American west.  It has become a favorite of all my Forest Service friends.  On this CD you will find references to the John Day River and Summer Lake in Oregon, the Payette River in Idaho, and other places well known to those of us that travel the backroads.

The song " Tequila Tonight" has the great line "Tears and Tequila flow like a river tonight."  Great songs about lost loves and the landscape of the west that seems to encourage those lost loves.  All the songs were written by her.

There is also her voice.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of Pasty Cline and K.D. Lang.  As a friend said, "What a voice.....what does she look like?".  Hmm, maybe it is attitudes like that lead to those lost love songs!

When I travel I ride with Bob Wills, Merle, and the Dead.  But these three CD's get played as often as those by the more famous performers.  Give them a try.  You won't be disappointed.

There are lots of great singers and performers out of the backroads.  These are three I have found that you might have missed.

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