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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Travel Tunes - Week 2

This week we are in the desert at Borrego Springs, putting together another trip for you.  A little desert travel music is in order here.

Back in the 70's in high school, I was pretty much a head banger.  The harder the rock the better, disco sucked, and country and western was just sh!t-kicker music.  Then one late night I was laying in bed listening to the "world famous" KROQ, who broadcast a lot of punk and new wave in those days from a suite on top of the Pasadena Hilton, a famously chemically-enhanced DJ by the name of Jimmy Rabbit put on a song that peeled off layers of musical bias from my mind.  I learned that, not only was there good country & western songs out there...much of it as hard and brutal as the best rock I'd listened too...but eventually came to the realization that there is no such thing as a bad genre of music.  Every form has its gems...and its trash...but I will now listen to anything once before making any judgements.

Anyway, back to that song.  Carolina Dreams is the album it's found on and it's by the Marshall Tucker Band from South Carolina.  Consisting of just 7 songs, there's not a throwaway track to be found.  The big hit off of this album was "Heard it in a Love Song."  But my song is the 5th track on the album, Desert Skies.   

Telling the tale of the perfect day, riding through the desert, this song captures perfectly the feeling of sitting by a campfire, watching the stars overhead.  Listen for the three solos in the heart of the song.  Good here, but on the original it was a fiddle solo by Charlie Daniels ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia"), a smooth sax solo by Jerry Eubanks, and a guitar solo by the late, great, Toy Caldwell.

Not only is this the best desert travel song ever produced (IMHO), it is the best cowboy song, and...in  my list of music...the best song ever recorded.  It has a permanent place on my travel mix and is my only request for my funeral someday in the very far future (I hope).

Below is a live version from 1991 which gives you a great feel for the flavor of the song but you need to get the original recording from the Carolina Dreams album for the full effect.  Enjoy...

Marshall Tucker Band - Desert Skies

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