Alela Diane: “To Begin”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/tobegin.mp3|titles=Alela Diane: “To Begin”]
On “Pieces of String,” a track from Alela Diane‘s 2004 record, The Pirate’s Gospel, she sings, “If I had one, I’d play this on piano.” Consider it wishful thinking. Whereas her first few albums, including the self-released Gospel and Forest Parade, are characterized by spare, plucked guitar and airy harmonies about simpler times, Alela Diane‘s newest, Alela Diane & Wild Divine, stretches its legs with a greater sonic palette and higher production value. Despite the warmth and homeliness of her folk tunes, Diane’s a troubadour, and she’s got the playlist to prove it.
Songs to Pack a Suitcase to, with Anticipation for the Highway
by Alela Diane
1. Fairport Convention: “Farewell, Farewell”
A song of goodbye.
2. Ian & Sylvia: “Early Morning Rain”
This one is about airplanes & an aching heart, very applicable to packing for weeks away.
3. Neil Young: “Good to See You”
“I am the suitcase in your hallway.” Thanks for that, Neil.
4. Gillian Welch: “April the 14th Part 1”
If you’ve ever been on the rough road, this song tells the story. “The girl passed out in the back seat trash / there was no way they’d make even half a tank of gas…”
5. Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels: “Six Days on the Road”
More aching hearts on the highway.
6. Led Zeppelin: “Going to California”
I’m from California, and I travel a lot.
7. Johnny Cash: “Let the Train Blow the Whistle”
I love traveling by train, and I love the man in black.
8. Neil Young: “Albuquerque”
Another great tour song—one that counts the miles.
9. John Prine: “Pretty Good”
This one just feels good to pack to.
10. The Band: “Look out Cleveland”
Road, road, road. A different city awaits me every night, and that’s what this one is about.