Road trip! Car tunes?

It’s been almost 20 years since my buddy Jonathan told me that we should move from Colorado, where we’d been living, to Europe. His idea was that we’d take country and American folk music to the culturally-starved Europeans. We’d reach iconic status, develop our language skills, eat and drink well, meet interesting people and return to a warm welcome in the USA after a year or so. And it all happened (except for the iconic status and the return to our homeland). Jonathan lives in Paris; I live in Switzerland (I got first choice).

He visits now and then and when we cruise along the Alpine highways and back roads, our always-nostalgic conversations are supported by a carefully-selected, folk-driven soundtrack on the car’s CD player.

With cassettes, choosing music for the car was an enormous challenge: we didn’t want to have to fast forward through an unloved song or turn the volume down for three minutes and sixteen seconds.

I’m still influenced by the tape days. I try to find CDs which I can enjoy in their entirety at relatively high volume. Currently, in my five-disc changer are the two Girlyman CDs, Herb Pedersen’s Southwest, a Tim and Mollie O’Brien album, and a Peter, Paul and Mary compilation (Japanese import). Lots of vocals these days.

I’d be curious to know what the FolkAlley.com gang listen to in their cars. Studio-released tapes or CDs? Compilations (legal, of course)? Do you go through phases? What’s the all-time best folk-ish CD for the car? Start your engines!

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