16 Country Songs for a Road Trip

May 5, 2015

Pickup trucks, rain, and Merle Haggard Drive.
I love road trips.

Right now, I'm finishing up my first draft for a sequel to Cowboy Valentine, a novella starring Dean MacKinnon.  Dean, the oldest MacKinnon brother, is a professional bullfighter on hiatus from the circuit. He plays an important role in Decker and Andie's short story, Cowboy Overload, but I thought it was high time he got a love story and a happy ending of his own. 

It's been fun to mess with Dean.  He's a man of few words, much different from the affable, extroverted heroes I think I tend to write.  Dean is a Clint Eastwood character with a great big broken heart.  A cowboy Lord Byron.

To help me tell Dean's story, Mr. H and I took a road trip from L.A. to the Clovis Rodeo last weekend.  The trip took about four hours one way up Highway 99.  We listened to some really great country music on 92.3 The Wolf on Sacramento and a couple of local stations in Bakersfield.  In light of all that great new and old country, I've prepared a list of 16 awesome country songs perfect for a road trip.  It's about an hour of music.  

  1. I've Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash

  2. On the Road Again, Willie Nelson

  3. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers

  4. Cash on the Barrelhead, Dolly Parton

  5. Suds in the Bucket, Sara Evans

  6. Red Dirt Road, Brooks & Dunn

  7. Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver

  8. Little Red Wagon, Miranda Lambert

  9. I Got a Car, George Strait

  10. Wagon Wheel, Darius Rucker

  11. King of the Road, Roger Miller

  12. Free and Easy, Dierks Bentley

  13. Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight, Emmylou Harris

  14. The Ride, David Allan Coe

  15. Copperhead Road, Steve Earle

  16. A Thousand Miles from Nowhere, Dwight Yoakam

  17. Pancho and Lefty, Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson

P.S. Townes Van Zandt wrote "Pancho and Lefty."  I love his version.  Take a look.

P.P.S. You can listen to my road trip playlist on Spotify, if you've got the app. 

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