Road Trips/Music

It’s that time of the year when a lot of us are travelling to see family for Christmas and the NY. Whose of us that are lucky enough to be Southern Hemisphere (yes surprise surprise not all of us are snowed in) are packing the car for the annual holidays. In Australia a road trip is part of our culture and a right of passage for most. Finding the right music that keeps you motivated alert and focused is often difficult as there’s other people’s taste to consider. One of my favourite is Tom Petty and any of his albums seem fit for purpose but the aptly named Highway Companion.

Love to hear other people’s options.


We haven’t done any road trips for a long while, but when the kids were young we used to drive to Florida every year, for about six years straight. I have three daughters, no sons, so the music was a tad one-sided.

The music picks were usually The Spice Girls, The Cranberries (ahh … Delores), and a bit of Britney.
They all liked my music too … well, who wouldn’t, and we played some of that as well. (But not a lot of John Coltrane).
We did a lot os singing in the vehicles: a Chevy Suburban for a while, and a BMW 5 series after that, and it made the trips shorter and more fun.
Haven’t really had a road trip since then tho …

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Going back some years, before we lost my dad, I used to travel to Scotland about twice a year. I had a playlist called “Scotland or Bust” that was full of blues and blues rock. Artists included Beth Hart, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Bonamassa, Rory Gallagher, Jimmi et al;
Always played on shuffle so I didn’t know what was up next, it used to make a long drive fly by😊


Road trip across the USA with my mate always started the morning drive with Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief for one song.

The opening track Come All Ye Rolling Minstrels

A great start for the car and the day and a great singalong.

Come all ye rolling minstrels
And together, we will try
To rouse the spirit of the earth
And move the rolling sky

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When my wife and mother-in-law were still with us we used to take regular trips to Cornwall with the girls. Amongst the favourites were the Spice Girls (the girls were 6/3), the Beatles (red and blue), Aretha Franklin but particularly comes to mind was the day Margaret bought a CD of Déjà Vu by CSNY and my girls chuckling at My House. Great days, these days on my own I just play R3.



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My first real road trip was in 1973. We drove from the central coast in NSW to a surf break in South Australia, over 2,000 kms each way. What made it more exciting was we did it in an Austin 10 that I bought for $150. Music was the hum of the wheels.


Not the actual car it was painted orange.


I recall many years ago being up in the clouds on the mountain roads of the Austrian Alps, in late winter with frost in the trees and with ‘Atlantic Realm’ by Clannad on the stereo. Not obvious driving material but it worked.

We also had David Gray’s ‘White Ladder’ playing on a ski trip from Chicago to Boyne in Michigan. It’s a 6 hour trip so I got a bit sick of it!

Somewhere there must be a road trip playlist with Steppenwolf on it….

Five years ago I organised a road trip from Geneva to Rome for a group of car minded friends with lots of winding mountain roads, high passes and scenic hilly roads through Tuscany. The various participants exchanged notes at the time on what music they were playing. Given the age bracket there was a lot of LedZep and other seventies rock, eighties hits and some jazz. I had compiled a playlist with songs with titles or lyrics on driving, streets, places, travelling etc. Others just preferred the sound of their engines though…

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