Saturday, March 14, 2009

Six Days on the Road

There's nothing I don't love about this song. The best truck drivin' song ever written (and there are a lot of great truck drivin' songs). I think the first version I ever heard was performed by Red Sovine, the Grand Master of the genre. Anybody playing country, alt-country, country rock, neo-country-rock, neo-alt-country-americana ... has to cover it. It's as fun to perform as it is to listen to.

The first video from Dave Dudley is my favorite of the bunch--perhaps because he's the songwriter. And he's playing a guitar that looks just like mine. The shiny shirt doesn't hurt either.

"Six Days on the Road" was a favorite of Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. The FBB were an opening act for the infamous Altamont concert in 1969, and a short excerpt of Gram Parsons singing "Six Days" appears on "Gimme Shelter," the Maysles Brothers documentary film about that event. I can't find a YouTube video of that performance, but here's one with the FBB, post-Parsons--Chris Hillman sings the lead. Sneaky Pete Kleinow's pedal steel simply kills.

I'll conclude with a version by a young Steve Earle. Guitar pickers will appreciate the little solo bit at 1:30 (I believe the fellow with the Telecaster is Mike McAdams). My only quibble with this version is that the rhythm section doesn't bounce quite as much as I think it should -- a little too plodding.

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