An Ode to Transportation
There are a lot of iconic songs about getting from one place to another. Moving from place to place plays a larger-than-average role in the musician’s mind because musicians spend a hell of a lot of time getting from one gig to another.
Musicians are adaptable creatures. Here’s some varying ways the kids are getting around these days:
Flying from gig to gig is not necessarily the provenance of highly-funded major label artists. Take indie Americana musician Emma Hill. She was just interviewed on NPR this morning for her enterprising use of the all-you-can-fly Jet Blue pass. The folksy Alaskan singer/songwriter is taking to the air for more than 22 dates this month and next in support of her brand new album Clumsy Seduction. Check out the NPR spot here. And then listen to this track off the new record: One Glass Too Many
I’ve written before about The Steel Wheels yearly bike tour, but this seems to be an idea whose time has come. Kentucky indie folk cellist Ben Sollee is currently bike touring with a cello and a full drum kit. Ballsy!
There are a lot of songs about hopping freight trains, and I do actually know a small number of old timey and crusty types who do this for real, in 2010. But you do run the risk of mashing up your guitar on the dismount. And it’s not for the faint of heart. An alternative to that is that the mostly-reliable Amtrak train. Andru Bemis, Michigan folk artist extraordinaire, is the champion of cross-country Amtrak touring. Check him out, playing “Huck Finn”, a song about Huck Finn.