We’re big advocates of long, hot showers. A good steam will soothe your muscles, clear your head and soften your stubble before that all-important shave. Of course, for the luxurious fog to work its magic, you have to give it a little time to build. A great soundtrack will make the whole process a faster and more enjoyable experience.
Getting up and going to work in the morning: not always the most fun thing to do. It would be a lot more fun to say “Sayonara,” hop in your car and takeoff on a month-long adventure across these continental states. We feel your pain. Really we do. And we wish that we could write you a doctor’s note excusing you from work for four weeks of burning asphalt, roadside cheeseburgers and an ever-clicking odometer—but we’re pretty sure forging medical papers is against some law, somewhere.
We can write you a different kind of prescription though. The kind that will provide temporary, vicarious relief. Presented in the playlist below: a musical road trip that will let you travel the highways and byways through America’s great cities. Yes, these are songs in which the singer tells you where they are, where they’re going and where they’ve been.
August Shower Sessions
In the case of Hank Snow? Everywhere, man. His song “I’ve Been Everywhere”—which was made even more famous by Johnny Cash—wasn’t the first song that went full travelogue, but it’s surely the masterpiece of the form, mentioning some 90 US cities in under three minutes and still not falling into novelty record territory. Cash pops up later to tell us all the places he’s wanted by the law (hint: pretty much everywhere too).
Contemplate the places you’d like to go as you hear your tour guides (Chuck Berry, the Stones, the Dead, Eric Clapton and Wilbert Harrison) call out cities both familiar (Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco) and less expected (Birmingham, Santa Fe, Tulsa). Of course, no road trip would be complete without a stop in Sin City, which happens here courtesy of Gram Parsons’ “Ooh Las Vegas.”
Mott the Hoople will come at you “All the Way From Memphis,” Kiss will declare “It’s Kissing Time” at different ports of call and James Brown will be pulling into stations across the nation on a “Night Train.” Oh, and Too $hort will remind everyone that he’s in the house, no matter what city that house is in. Perhaps that can be your zen mantra for the day: Though your body may not be in motion, your mind is a hundred-lane highway that runs in every direction.
At least it is in the privacy of your own shower. Where it’s just you and Huey Lewis.