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Songs For Stops Along The Way

roadside motel 300
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News

There's no better place to listen to music than in the driver's seat, looking out from behind a Cinemascope windshield. These five songs all feature some variation on driving, reaching a destination and, in some form or another, stopping along the way.

Read and hear more entries in the Road Trip: Songs to Drive By series.

Songs For Stops Along The Way

Jennifer O'Connor art

Exeter, Rhode Island

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Exeter, Rhode Island

  • from Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars
  • by Jennifer O'Connor

Jennifer O'Connor spends a lot of time in her car, driving from gig to gig, and "Exeter, Rhode Island" perfectly captures the soul-searching that goes on while en route. O'Connor's new album, Here With Me, comes out Aug. 19.

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Song
Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars
Album
Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars
Artist
Jennifer O'Connor
Label
Matador
Released
2006

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Old Crow Medicine Show art

Wagon Wheel

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Wagon Wheel

  • from Old Crow Medicine Show
  • by Old Crow Medicine Show

Much was made of Old Crow Medicine Show "co-writing" this song with Bob Dylan -- the band derived the chorus from Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid outtakes -- but "Wagon Wheel" gets most of its power from the verses. That said, the song does take license with geography: You wouldn't be "headed west from the Cumberland Gap to Johnson City, Tennessee." Look for a new album, Tennessee Pusher, on Sept. 23.

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Song
Old Crow Medicine Show
Album
Old Crow Medicine Show
Artist
Old Crow Medicine Show
Label
Nettwerk

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John Hiatt art

Drive South

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Drive South

  • from Slow Turning
  • by John Hiatt

Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" may be the definitive song to view road trips as a form of escape. But John Hiatt's "Drive South" marks a natural extension of that song, following its lead into middle age.

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Song
Slow Turning
Album
Slow Turning
Artist
John Hiatt
Label
Mobile Fidelity
Released
1988

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James McMurtry art

Choctaw Bingo

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Choctaw Bingo

  • from Saint Mary of the Woods
  • by James McMurtry

At eight and a half minutes, James McMurtry's "Choctaw Bingo" runs the perfect length for a good road song. The song's funny, vividly descriptive words may not be appropriate for everyone in the car -- references to drugs and guns abound -- but it does describe a road trip that few have taken. A classic from one of Texas' masters of descriptive musical storytelling.

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Song
Saint Mary of the Woods
Album
Saint Mary of the Woods
Artist
James McMurtry
Label
Sugar Hill
Released
2002

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Antibalas art

Filibuster X

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Filibuster XXX

  • Song: Filibuster X
  • from Security
  • by Antibalas

The length and linear structure of much African music tends to make it perfect for travel; these are songs sung over the course of long journeys, so their hypnotic nature makes perfect sense. It's easy to get lost in Antibalas' long improvisations while driving: "Filibuster XXX," in particular, features a lot of the band's secret weapon, keyboardist Victor Axelrod.

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Song
Security
Album
Security
Artist
Antibalas
Label
Anti
Released
2007

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