Day 71: A song that you love that you first heard on a mixed CD made for you.

“Slow Train” – Shooter Jennings

Shooter JennignsI like trains. Both full-size and model. I actually have another long-neglected blog where I talk about the portable HO scale layout I’m building. This is not Sheldon-Cooper-stick-locomotives-in-your-mouth stuff. It’s serious, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s art. (And, as you may have discerned, I have some strong opinions on the topic.)

In addition to my modeling, every other year a group (consisting of me, my brother, my nephew, and a friend of mine) packs up and head out to Pennsylvania to watch trains. For the uninitiated (which I suspect is most of you), this is called railfanning. Most people don’t understand the draw of it, but that’s okay. It just means I don’t have to fight you for the best photo spots.

About a year after Laura and I met, the time came for one of these trips. (She doesn’t get it, either, but she humors me.) Being the nice person that she is (even though she suspected I was a loon) she went to considerable trouble to compile 3 mix CDs containing various train-related songs for the trip. She even grouped the songs so that each CD had its own category. That’s love right there. (Or insanity, which would explain why we get along so well.)

Not familiar with a song I’ve mentioned?
Click the > button above to hear samples.

While I was a little skeptical of the songs as a whole, we did make a point of listening to the CDs in their entirety during the trip.

There were a few songs I already knew (like “Train Kept a Rollin'” by Aerosmith), but most I did not. A few were intentionally god-awful. (Like “Railroad Names” by James Brian Coffey. It’s supposed to be a kid’s song but the guy doesn’t even have the nuances of rhyming down. What’s up with that?) Most were just okay.

And then there were the couple of standouts.

“Slow Train” was one of those standouts. I’d never heard of the song—or Shooter Jennings—before that (which is why it qualifies for today’s topic). And while I don’t think I’m going to be seeking out much more of Shooter’s catalog, I do really enjoy this song for some reason. Maybe it’s the train reference, I don’t know. All I know is I like its vibe. Enough that it’s in the top 2% in my most played list.

The other standout was “I Like Trains” by Fred Eaglesmith. It’s got an understated, driving power to it that I like. But “Slow Train” is the clear winner for this particular category.

Incidentally (and here’s your trivia for the day), Shooter Jennings is the son of Waylon Jennings, who may be best known to non-country-listening audiences as the guy who narrated and sang the theme song from “The Dukes Of Hazzard.” (The TV show, not that atrocity of a movie they put out.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to educate the public that most people who like trains don’t put locomotives in their mouth. (That should be easy.) And that all model railroaders are not wackadoodles. (That one’s admittedly tougher.)