Cross Country Songbook: The American Southwest + Utah Parks

Cross Country Songbook: Southwest + Utah ParksTraveling through the American Southwest then up to Denver and Moab offers some of the most interesting landscape I’ve ever seen. Driving from Dallas to Santa Fe there is a whole lot of nothing, and when I say nothing I mean no gas stations, no houses, not even any cattle or cowboys like you see in the movies. Santa Fe to Denver is a stark contrast from the bleakness of North Texas, but after a long drive curving through the mountains, the straight highways and city lights of Denver can be a welcoming sign. And then there’s Moab and its two National Parks— Arches and Canyonlands, the natural beauty of each being quite the sight to behold. Over our nearly week-long journey from Dallas to Moab we listened to plenty of tunes, but we picked only the best set of tunes to share, all of which were inspired by different parts of the trip. Luckily I also had Caroline, Jeff, and Kyle from the M&T crew along for different stretches of the drive to keep me company, and of course help curate this playlist. Make sure to subscribe to the full playlist below and follow along as we continue our cross country journey.

Band Of Horses – “The First Song”

Band Of Horses is essential for any driving playlist, but the sweeping slide guitar and vocals of “The First Song” immediately came to mind as soon as we made it out of Dallas.

Damien Jurado – “Silver Timothy”

During portions of the drive from Dallas to Santa Fe there were long stretches of nothing, so much so that the landscape looked almost alien. This tune from Jurado’s 2014 record, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, has a distinct vibe that meshes beautifully with the seemingly extraterrestrial scenery.

Rayland Baxter – “Rugged Lovers”

Rayland’s new record was on heavy rotation throughout the Southwestern leg of the trip and we kept coming back to this track that fit so perfectly with the drive.

Zoe Muth – “Mama Needs A Margarita”

After running into some vehicle issues on the way to Santa Fe the promise of margaritas at our destination was a much needed motivator to keep pressing onward.

Beirut – “Santa Fe”

Once we hit the city limits we just had to throw this one on in celebration.

Ennio Morriconne – “The Ecstasy of Gold”

Have you ever driven through northern New Mexico? If you have you’ll know that the scenery and surroundings make you feel like a badass cowboy from a Sergio Leone movie. Thus, it was only appropriate to throw on Ennio Morricone’s masterpiece from Leone’s classic The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

Eddie Vedder – “Setting Forth”

We know it’s a bit cliche since it already appears on the Into The Wild soundtrack, but as we drove through Utah we all agreed that Eddie did a damn good job creating a sound that captures the American outdoors.

The Who – “I Can See For Miles”

Hiking through Canyonlands and Arches one can take this song’s chorus quite literally. Standing atop various plateaus and overlooks in each park there is nothing to obscure your view for miles and miles. Literally, it’s actually quite unreal.

Broken Social Scene – “Sweetest Kill”

Creepy lyrics aside, the soundscape that Kevin Drew and co. create in this song is the perfect soundtrack for a nighttime drive through the desert under a massive sky filled with stars.

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Posted on by Eric in Cross Country Songbook, Playlists

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