So I recently went on a bit of an adventure. Every part of me wanted to document and record it all. Then my intrests seem to wane. Also I looked like a bit of a twat with a camera being held on myself doing sad little “selfies” at National Parks and tourist attractions all along the roads of America.
I talk a lot. Like too much. For me, its how I make my income.
Doing stand up is a pretty selfish job. I get on stage. I expect people’s attention and their laughter.
It is a strangely forced relationship.
I had friends and people to visit in the States. But for the best part of the trip, I was on my own. Driving. Jesus I drove. 5500 Miles across the States. From Chicago to Fort Wayne, to Cincinatti, to Louisville, to Nashville, to Memphis, Little Rock, Oklahoma, Amarillo, Alberqurque, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Mojave Desert, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterrey, San Francisco and shit loads inbetween.
Just typing that bored me. So can you imagine what it was like covering that kind of distance with nobody to speak to?
It was lovely. Like I mean really really lovely. America is a big place, but try as I might, I pretty much was almost constantly surrounded by people in some description. I was trying to avoid talking to people for various reasons. People were getting confused by my accent and were in part almost wary of me. I just wanted to blend in. Buy my gas and pizza and supersized soda’s and just keep trucking so to speak.
But here is the thing.
I did use my voice. A lot..
I had the iphone set up with my taste in music. Some new stuff. Some old stuff. Also American classic rock radio is the fucking business. I was literally listening t the best music of my life. Loud and on the open road.
I realised a few things.
I love the blues. Proper dirty filthy nasty blues. I saw some blues in Chicago that was just perfect.
I started listening to some other genres of music without giving a fucking monkeys about what someone else wanted to listen too. Jesus. I have even enjoyed what can best be described as er, ahem even a bit of Country music. Well a bit country. You will see later. But there is something special about driving through an area of the country where the music suddently becomes specific. The right songs for the right locations. I did feel the heart of American music whilst I was there.
A travel tip for folks. This works well for me. I always, nearly always have a set of headphones in my ears when I am travelling in dodgy neighbourhoods. I don’t always have the music on. But the nutters don’t know that. So it gives you a perfect excuse for ignorning people trying to stop you to husstle you out of something or another.
But when the moment was right. And it most often was I listened to the right music. Sometimes I found my pace of my walk syncing to the music. I was never alone. Although try walking normally when listening to the off-beat rhythms of Biffy Clyro and you walk like you have shat yourself or something. But in a jaunty way of course.
A couple of artists that I have really enjoyed recently. Some for the groove, some for the emotion and some just for the freshness of it all. Are in little Youtube clips below.
But when your only use for your voice is to sing along to the music you enjoy. It can put you in a pretty happy space. Dare I say it, I even improved. By the end of the trip, I knew songs backwards, I had my favourite favourites.
Here are a few of them.