David Sanger knows the road. He's traveled about 3 million miles of it since joining Asleep At the Wheel as their drummer 26 years ago. But in all those years of pounding the pavement there is one road he keeps coming back to: Route 66.
Even More Songs Of Route 66: From Here To There is the 3rd volume in his collection of Route 66 songs. His first two collections (The Songs Of Route 66: Music From The All-American Highway (1995) and More Songs Of Route 66: Roadside Attractions (2001)) have established the six-time Grammy winner as the foremost musical spokesman for America's main street. His Route 66 CDs and their music have appeared in T.V. and movie soundtracks, DVD text books, bank and beer promotions, NPR features, national periodicals and newpapers and along the way have sold over 40,000 copies in gift shops and record stores along the historic highway.
In this new volume the theme is travel (the other two CD's themes were songs about the road and places along the road, respectively) and Sanger chose some great Austin musicians to bring to life some of his favorite traveling songs. Emily Gimble (granddaughter of the legendary fiddler Johnny Gimble) leads the way with the William Devaughn classic "Just Be Thankful For What You Got" and sets the tone for the upcoming set of material. Some blusier material is delivered by Seth Walker and Carolyn Wonderland (who does a searing rendition of the Canned Heat version of "On The Road Again") and the country side is represented by Americana darlings The Band Of Heathens (doing Little Feat's "Willin'") Jason Roberts (Asleep At The Wheel, The Wandering Eyes) and the inimitable Dale Watson, who delivers Merle Haggard's "White Line Fever" like he owns it. On the pop and rock side you've got Austin Chronicle Music Poll Winner Elizabeth McQueen (Asleep At The Wheel) slipping back to her pub rock roots to sing NRBQ's "Little Floater," Bruce Hughes (Jason Mraz, Bob Schneider) to rock on a Doobie classic and newcomer Claire Small with a haunting "99 Miles From L.A."
"All these songs are the soundtrack to my life," opines producer Sanger. "To get these great singers and players to perform them just makes them all the more special to me." These compilations are produced one track at-a-time which allows Sanger to cherry pick each song, singer and player. "The result," he says "is a collection that is totally varied yet fits my vision of how each song should be. So it takes me five years to finish them. If it sounds right, who cares?"
So get in the Corvette, slip on the shades and head down Route 66, cause it is the coolest ride you can take. And don't forget the music!
"Be Thankful For What You Got" – Emily Gimble, "Travelin' Mood" – Seth Walker, "Rockin' Down The Highway" – Bruce Hughes, "White Line Fever" – Dale Watson, "Little Floater" – Elizabeth McQueen, "99 Miles From L.A." – Claire Small, "On The Road Again" – Carolyn Wonderland, "Pickin' California" – Slaid Cleaves, "Hit The Road Jack" – Tim Curry, "Truckin' Man" – Jason Roberts, "Willin'" – Band Of Heathens, "Route 66" – Matt The Electrician