Top 10 late night driving songs

by Kevin on May 14, 2009

I love to drive, listen to music, and zone out. At times it seems like the only time I can get away from the other distractions, and truly let my mind roam free. I particularly love driving at night.

I do alot of nighttime driving on the 50 States in 50 Days tours that I do annually. Music keeps me thinking.

 

Los Angeles is a great nighttime driving city…….especially when a marine layer has fallen over the city.

The following are songs that have accompanied me on many nights like that.

  1. “Little Past Little Rock” by Lee Ann Womack-I love this song. The baritone guitar gets me. I sing along and wish Lee Ann had asked me to sing on this song instead of “Why the River Runs”……really, I wish she would ask me to sing on all her records.
  2. “Downtown Lights” by Blue Nile-I became a fan of Blue Nile YEARS ago, and this song still holds up.
  3. “Still Within the Sound of My Voice” by Linda Rondstadt (written by Jimmy Webb)-great for wide open desert driving, too.
  4. “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen-very moody. Dig it.
  5. “Please Forgive Me” by David Gray
  6. “Washington Square” by Counting Crows-Jill Jackson and I listened to this song alot on last year’s 50 States in 50 Days tour.
  7. “Sullivan Street” by Counting Crows-One of my all-time favorite songs. Maria McKee absolutely kills me with her background part……very haunting, and urgent.
  8. “The Song Remembers When” by Trisha Yearwood (written by Hugh Prestwood)-this song has to be one of the best songs ever written……..”and I wept in the arms of Jesus for the choice you made”……the way Trisha phrases “choice” kills me. Matt Rollings’ piano playing on this song is astounding.
  9. “Mary” by Patti Griffin-moving, haunting……reminds me of my sweet grandmother.
  10. “Family Affair” by Abra Moore-Abra had one song a few years ago that really got me, and then she disappeared. I found her on itunes and downloaded this song after a quick listen. A couple of years ago when I was touring France it was literally ALL I listened to as I drove………very haunting.

post with your friends.

What are your Top 10 late night driving songs? Need some ideas for the May UK/Netherlands tour.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth May 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Embarrassed to say that I’ve not heard of a lot of these songs; guess I’ll go check a few of them out.

For me, “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Radar Love,” and “Welcome to Paradise” are a few of my fave driving songs, especially when I was driving round the mountains of North Carolina!

Ruth May 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Embarrassed to say that I’ve not heard of a lot of these songs; guess I’ll go check a few of them out.

For me, “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Radar Love,” and “Welcome to Paradise” are a few of my fave driving songs, especially when I was driving round the mountains of North Carolina!

Gary Jenkins May 14, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Good tunes. I will have to check out some of these.

Gary Jenkins May 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Good tunes. I will have to check out some of these.

Neil Newton May 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Interesting choice … Got most of these artist’s but maybe not these tracks.. do you pick the songs before you head out or do you use something like playlists on the ipod…
I occasionally set the player on random which can give some really interesting mixes or just pick albums to suit my mood.. Know what you mean about driving though – the only place where you know you won’t get interrupted listening !. Late at night’s even better…

Neil Newton May 15, 2009 at 8:20 am

Interesting choice … Got most of these artist’s but maybe not these tracks.. do you pick the songs before you head out or do you use something like playlists on the ipod…
I occasionally set the player on random which can give some really interesting mixes or just pick albums to suit my mood.. Know what you mean about driving though – the only place where you know you won’t get interrupted listening !. Late at night’s even better…

Kevin May 15, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Neil,
I have an ipod now…….i usually select the songs as I go to fit my exact mood/headspace.
Yes, nighttime is the best……….thanks for the comment.
So, what are your songs?
Kevin

Kevin May 15, 2009 at 8:23 am

Neil,
I have an ipod now…….i usually select the songs as I go to fit my exact mood/headspace.
Yes, nighttime is the best……….thanks for the comment.
So, what are your songs?
Kevin

Kevin May 15, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Ruth,
“Born to be Wild” ha!! That reminds me of Key West……playing at the Hogsbreath………..and having motorcycles start up in the parking lot…………..we usually break into that song.
it gets the blood pumping for sure.
Kevin

Kevin May 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Ruth,
“Born to be Wild” ha!! That reminds me of Key West……playing at the Hogsbreath………..and having motorcycles start up in the parking lot…………..we usually break into that song.
it gets the blood pumping for sure.
Kevin

Malene Klejs May 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Loves to hit the roads w. “I shot the Sherif” (Eric Clapton version) and “Bad Moon Rising” w. John Fogerty ..there are probably some more “road-songs” but these are what I immidiately came up with.

Malene Klejs May 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Loves to hit the roads w. “I shot the Sherif” (Eric Clapton version) and “Bad Moon Rising” w. John Fogerty ..there are probably some more “road-songs” but these are what I immidiately came up with.

Neil Newton May 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Hi Kevin,

Yeah sorry – forgot the songs.

It’s night now and everythings quiet and I can plan my virtual ride …

These songs are a brief journey thro my musical life. It only takes another exit road off that trip to produce another collection – but tonight these fit my mood.

“Cry like a Rainstorm” – Bonnie Raitt (I could fill a whole 50 states tour with her stuff)

“Fountain of Sorrow” – Jackson Brown.

“Long Time Comin'” – Bruce Springsteen.

“Home” – Karla Bonoff (Bonnies version is great but I’ve choosen the Lady that wrote it)

“Calico Plains” – Matraca Berg (Great writer)

“Last of the true believers” – Nanci Griffith (Another great writer – seems I’ve noticed a pattern now!!!)

“Broken Fingers” – Sam Baker. (If you don’t know the story behind this then find out!!)

“Loves been a little bit hard on me” – Juice Newton (no relation 🙂 but one of my fave singers)

“Boulder to Birmingham” – Emmylou (Not afraid to admit this song chokes me up on some quiet nights)

I feel guilty I can only put 10 down – but I will stop there.

I also use an Ipod after years of swearing I wouldn’t use one. I love the damn thing now !!!!

I will add I love “I can’t drive you from my mind”. That’s a great driving song and a total mystery why it wasn’t a massive hit..

Buenos Noches Neil

Neil Newton May 16, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Hi Kevin,

Yeah sorry – forgot the songs.

It’s night now and everythings quiet and I can plan my virtual ride …

These songs are a brief journey thro my musical life. It only takes another exit road off that trip to produce another collection – but tonight these fit my mood.

“Cry like a Rainstorm” – Bonnie Raitt (I could fill a whole 50 states tour with her stuff)

“Fountain of Sorrow” – Jackson Brown.

“Long Time Comin'” – Bruce Springsteen.

“Home” – Karla Bonoff (Bonnies version is great but I’ve choosen the Lady that wrote it)

“Calico Plains” – Matraca Berg (Great writer)

“Last of the true believers” – Nanci Griffith (Another great writer – seems I’ve noticed a pattern now!!!)

“Broken Fingers” – Sam Baker. (If you don’t know the story behind this then find out!!)

“Loves been a little bit hard on me” – Juice Newton (no relation 🙂 but one of my fave singers)

“Boulder to Birmingham” – Emmylou (Not afraid to admit this song chokes me up on some quiet nights)

I feel guilty I can only put 10 down – but I will stop there.

I also use an Ipod after years of swearing I wouldn’t use one. I love the damn thing now !!!!

I will add I love “I can’t drive you from my mind”. That’s a great driving song and a total mystery why it wasn’t a massive hit..

Buenos Noches Neil

jamie adams May 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Ahhh, I love “Sullivan Street!” The background vocals just make it for me. Sigh.

I have a few albums that have recently become driving standards. The Everybodyfields “Everything is Okay” is a winner every time. The song “Savior” is one I think you would really enjoy (though I think you’d dig the whole album). About every other month it becomes my favorite album again.

I also love Grace Potter and the Nocturnal’s “This Is Somewhere”. It’s hard to recommend a song off of it, I really love them all.

jamie adams May 18, 2009 at 7:40 am

Ahhh, I love “Sullivan Street!” The background vocals just make it for me. Sigh.

I have a few albums that have recently become driving standards. The Everybodyfields “Everything is Okay” is a winner every time. The song “Savior” is one I think you would really enjoy (though I think you’d dig the whole album). About every other month it becomes my favorite album again.

I also love Grace Potter and the Nocturnal’s “This Is Somewhere”. It’s hard to recommend a song off of it, I really love them all.

Kevin May 18, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Neil,
Karla Bonoff is up there in terms of my favorite songwriters………”Home” has always been a favorite…….has one of the best steel guitar solos as well.
Dan Dugmore is the best steel guitar player in Nashville for my taste…..played guitar on my first record, and has played live with me……..he played the steel on “Home”-a classic solo.
Karla is a classic writer……”If He’s Ever Near” from the same record blows me away.
Good choices.
Jamie, will check those out tonight.

Kevin May 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Neil,
Karla Bonoff is up there in terms of my favorite songwriters………”Home” has always been a favorite…….has one of the best steel guitar solos as well.
Dan Dugmore is the best steel guitar player in Nashville for my taste…..played guitar on my first record, and has played live with me……..he played the steel on “Home”-a classic solo.
Karla is a classic writer……”If He’s Ever Near” from the same record blows me away.
Good choices.
Jamie, will check those out tonight.

Neil Newton May 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Kevin,

Wow – Dan Dugmore and and Danny Kortchmar trading licks on their Les Pauls (and steel) is one of my best memories of that era, when they played on the Ronstadt tour… Her versions of “Poor poor pitiful me” and “Tumbling die” were better than the stones due to their playing !!!!.
You seem to have a knack of attracting great Steel players over the years 🙂 ….

Just listened to “Home” again – your’e right .. That playing is superb..

Neil

Neil Newton May 19, 2009 at 9:10 am

Kevin,

Wow – Dan Dugmore and and Danny Kortchmar trading licks on their Les Pauls (and steel) is one of my best memories of that era, when they played on the Ronstadt tour… Her versions of “Poor poor pitiful me” and “Tumbling die” were better than the stones due to their playing !!!!.
You seem to have a knack of attracting great Steel players over the years 🙂 ….

Just listened to “Home” again – your’e right .. That playing is superb..

Neil

Kevin May 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Neil,
Yes, he is a special player. He played on “Fear Nothing”….I stupidly didn’t have him play steel on the record. I was ignorant of his brilliance at the time.
Sadly, although he would play live with me in Nashville……he is too smart to go out on the road!
Kevin

Kevin May 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

Neil,
Yes, he is a special player. He played on “Fear Nothing”….I stupidly didn’t have him play steel on the record. I was ignorant of his brilliance at the time.
Sadly, although he would play live with me in Nashville……he is too smart to go out on the road!
Kevin

Rick Linsk June 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Here are some of my favorite late-night driving songs. I know there’s been music made since 1985, but hey, these are skewed to the years when I was actually driving late at night 😉 …

These also tended to be the songs that enabled the DJ to go get coffee or use the bathroom.

* Richard Thompson: Hand of Kindness
* Neil Young: Cowgirl in the Sand
* Van Morrison: Cyprus Avenue
* John Coltrane: My Favorite Things
* Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Jungleland
* Boz Scaggs: Loan Me a Dime
* Traffic: Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
* Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today
* Derek & the Dominoes: Layla
* Creedence Clearwater Revival: Suzy Q

Rick Linsk June 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Here are some of my favorite late-night driving songs. I know there’s been music made since 1985, but hey, these are skewed to the years when I was actually driving late at night 😉 …

These also tended to be the songs that enabled the DJ to go get coffee or use the bathroom.

* Richard Thompson: Hand of Kindness
* Neil Young: Cowgirl in the Sand
* Van Morrison: Cyprus Avenue
* John Coltrane: My Favorite Things
* Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Jungleland
* Boz Scaggs: Loan Me a Dime
* Traffic: Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
* Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today
* Derek & the Dominoes: Layla
* Creedence Clearwater Revival: Suzy Q

Kevin Montgomery June 2, 2010 at 1:50 am

Jamie, The backgrounds on “Sullivan Street” are amazing.

Daran B October 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Here are mine, hope everyone likes them. They are maybe a bit UK based but is that a bad thing?

Deacon Blue – I Was Right & You Were Wrong

Prefab Sprout – When Love Breaks Down

Gerry Rafferty – What Ever’s Written In Your Heart

Til Tuesday – Welcome Home

Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town

Crowded House – Catherine Wheels

Al Stewart – Year Of The Cat

Harry Neilsson – Everybody’s Talking

Juice Newton – Queen Of Hearts

Scritti Polliti – Oh Patti

Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla

Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home

kevinmontgomery October 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm

“Life in a Northern Town”……..amazing…….always loved that.

kevinmontgomery October 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I did not know that. Goodnight. Thanks for the songs………..

Michael March 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Driving in the rain. John Wesley Harding.

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