Not all Americana songs are about trucks and trains, but the same subjects do pop up over and over again. So here's some suggestions for thematic CD samplers. The list is in no particular order and is, of course, entirely subjective and primarily based on the contents of my CD collection. Click below the list to make your own suggestions. Or submit an entire list for future publication here.
This is a list about drugs, and I haven’t divided them into categories, so it jumps freely between laid-back evenings and addiction, despair and murder. And then it runs into cultivation and importation – which could conceivably have been a different list.
1. Illegal Smile – John Prine
Fortunately I have the key to escape reality
2. Cocaine Blues – Townes van Zandt
Round my heart and runnin' round my brain
3. My Heroin Addict Sister – Elizabeth Cook
(this isn’t recorded yet so I have no line to add, but I heard it once and just had to include it)
4. Beer Run – Robert Earl Keen
Next thing they knew they were both pretty hungry and pretty thirsty too
5. Free Mexican Airforce – Peter Rowan
High in the hills we are harvesting sweet sensimillia
6. Borderline – Slaid Cleaves
Payments were made, the seed it was sown, Armando watched the crop grow
7. Manhattan Mandolin Blues – Eric Taylor
How many strings have I got left?
8. Methamphetamine – Old Crow Medicine Show
it's gonna rock you like a hurricane
9. My Morphine – Gillian Welch
There’s only one girl for me
10. Karla Faye – Mary Gauthier
When she killed in cold, cold blood all she felt was her need