Five Songs for a Road Trip Out West
I don’t know about you, but I start to feel a bit of ennui during the late part of the summer. Especially when I was a kid, out of school for months, I’d start to feel a bit restless by mid-to-late August. Maybe this is why August is such a popular month for people to take a trip out to the American West?!
The American West is filled with unparalleled natural beauty that is sure to satisfy your craving for the picturesque. The pristine lakes and remarkable mountains of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The stunning red rock landscapes of Moab, Utah. The hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles of Yellowstone National Park.
And with all the outdoor activities—hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, just to name a few—the West is definitely the place to go to find some adventure!
Now, the most important question: what music should you listen to on your road trip out to the great American west? Don’t worry, we got you covered with the best tunes to get you in the mood for your vacation!
Marty Robbins – Ballad of the Alamo
This song comes from the epic 1960 historical war film, “The Alamo,” which stars John Wayne as Davy Crockett. Listen to this ballad before you tour the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas and as you’re walking around, you’ll notice that between the setting and the rising of the sun, you can hear a ghostly bugle as the men go marching by . . .
Eddy Arnold – Cattle Call
As you’re driving out west in your car or RV, you’re going to see plenty of open spaces, fields and, of course, cattle! This fun 1934 tune will be sure to put a grin on your face as you admire the cows and oxen.
Maybe if you’re feeling especially frisky, you can stick your head out the window and say hello to the livestock! Moo! Who knows, maybe you’ll help scare away the howlin’ coyotes!
Sons of the Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweeds
First recorded in 1934, this western ballad captured the spirit of the Great Depression. Following the Dust Bowl, the “Dirty Thirties” saw many men wandering around the country looking for work, drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
And did you know that the Sons of the Pioneers, founded in 1933, are actually still around today? Of course, the membership has changed frequently over the years, but they are now one of the longest-surviving country groups in the world!
Harve Presnell – They Call the Wind Maria
This song was written for the 1951 Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon, which takes place during the California Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. The driving, staccato rhythm of the tune, played on the string instruments, creates a sense of restless, unending motion, as if one is riding a horse or cowboy all day and night long!
Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Always on My Mind
A classic tune performed by everyone from Loretta Lynn to Elvis, and, of course, the figure of outlaw country himself, Willie Nelson, this iconic ballad just had to be included on our list. The strong sense of bittersweet regret is simply timeless.
But have you ever heard a jazzy rendition of the song? Boy are you in for a treat with this new recording that features an impeccable flute solo by Aaron Heick!
“Always on My Mind” comes from our country jazz album, Cryin’ In My Whiskey, which is available on all major music platforms and in our store today.