I love listening to music late at night when driving on a country road. There’s a warmth that’s hard to capture in other settings. You feel connected to the world, but the distractions are minimal and the darkness enfolds the car as if in a cocoon.
Tonight I had teenager taxi duty after an especially late party, so I found myself driving alone through the only stretch of road that could remotely be considered country on my route. Rock Creek Park is an oasis of nature in the midst of the city. It is also one of Washington’s treasures, and tonight I was crossing through in a drizzle, with only the threat of wandering deer to worry me.
Another great Washington treasure is Mary Cliff’s Traditions, a long-running folk-music show on public radio. Since Mary switched stations a few years ago, she comes on later and I don’t have the chance to hear her as often. But tonight I was tuned in, and the sound of Jack Williams playing Dylan’s Forever Young came through during a set to honor a recently deceased member of the local folk music scene. That great song and the setting transported me back to late night drives in South Georgia thirty years ago, listening to folk and bluegrass in the car while returning from evening meetings with my first job. I remembered a more recent time, with a couple of hour-long drives to get from Merlefest to my sister’s cabin in the North Carolina mountains, with stacks of new CDs beside me and Del McCoury singing It’s Just the Night with the Fairfield Four coming through the car speakers.
Few things beat a late night car radio on a country road.
More to come…