My mom called me and told me that her friends are going on a road trip from California to the East Coast. She’s putting together a care package for them, including one new CD for each day of driving. She wanted my advice about what CDs to buy.
The couple is retirement age and my mom doesn’t really know their musical taste, so we had to pick CDs with fairly broad appeal. They’ll be on historic Route 66 for some of their trip, which I tell you in case that gets your creative thought process going!
These are some of my picks.
Sheryl Crow: C’mon C’mon or Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow just screams “road trip!” to me, doesn’t she to you? Both of these albums are top notch. Sheryl Crow is moodier, whereas C’mon C’mon is peppier. (fun side note: C’mon C’mon features one of our Music Analysts on percussion.)
Louis Prima: Wildest!
Turn up the volume: Louis Prima is a perfect singalong artist. This CD will put ants in the pants. Don’t get a speeding ticket!
Bebel Gilberto: Bebel Gilberto
This contemporary bossa nova may be a little too subtle to hear well over the sound of the car engine, but it’s so dreamy I can’t resist.
Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins: Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
This album is so fun! I recommend it for road trips, dinner parties, working, and commuting. It’s all-purpose!
There’s more! Keep reading…

Ray LaMontagne: Trouble
Ray’s new album is fantastic, but I thought it might be a bit too quiet and/or melancholy for a road trip… unless melancholy is what you’re craving on that particular day. For this trip, I prescribe Trouble.
Feist: Let It Die
I’ve braved huge crowds and long lines to see Feist perform twice in a six-month period. What can I say? I heart Leslie Feist. It appears to be a popular sentiment.
Paul Simon: Negotiations and Love Songs
A classic!
Dinah Washington: Queen, the Music of Dinah Washington
This is another album that says “road trip” to me. This CD is the first I’ve owned featuring Dinah Washington, and I can’t wait to hear more.
As you can see I had to double my prescription to two albums per day…I just couldn’t narrow down my choices!
What would you pick?


  1. Jr.canest
    November 25, 2006 at 10:35pm
    please pandora, search bajo fondo tango club, nice "electro tango" sorry if isn't the right place
  2. pietieter
    November 28, 2006 at 2:05am
    Hi, We recently did a roadtrip in Northern USA and Canada. We forgot to pack cds in our luggage so we had to buy one (tight budget ;-): we chose The best of Johnny Cash. It proved the ideal road trip music. But your selection would have worked just fine too. P (Belgium)
  3. liz
    November 28, 2006 at 2:32pm
    Several years ago I drove to Texas by myself -- first ever long-distance road trip. By day four I was sick of just about every CD I brought along, with the exception of Calexico. Something about their hypnotic cinematic sound kept my interest engaged... Right now, though, am listening to the Pogues a lot. Also Tom Waits. Never get tired of these on my hour-plus commutes.
  4. Richard
    December 04, 2006 at 7:52am
    Great music site indeed. More road trip suggestions, English Beat, "What is Beat", Cinematic Orchestra "Motion", Bob Mould, "Work Book", St Germaine, Oingo Boingo, "Only a Lad" Widespread Panic, "Light Fuse and Get Away" All of these appease that driving function!!
  5. raj4encoders
    December 05, 2006 at 12:15am
    Hi,Lucia,good call on all your selections,especially Paul Simmons and Sheryl Crow.There are few more CDs of road trips such as The Rolling Stones,Miles,Elton John's ultimate soulful love songs,The Enigma etc.This all will create an unknown sensitivity during the trip.Warm wishes and lots of cheer&affection. raj encoders
  6. Roberto
    December 05, 2006 at 9:48am
    definitivamente! Pat Metheny for the road!
  7. Jim B.
    December 20, 2006 at 7:34pm
    I agree completely with Pat Metheny as a good road trip artist. I would take "First Circle", "Still Life (Talking)", or "The Road To You (Live)" on a road trip. Grateful Dead Dick's Picks #17 (@Boston Garden) is a good one too. So far, nobody has mentioned NRBQ. All you need is the Rhino compilation "Peek-A-Boo", a 2-CD set. A good mix of styles in their music, suiting changing landscapes during a road trip.
  8. Jennifer
    January 14, 2007 at 5:32pm
    I haven't had the chance to hit the road with it yet, but I've been listening to the new kickin' Tom Waits triple CD set 'Orphans' since Xmas. Divided into Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards - how can you go wrong?

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