Guest Playlist: Alela Diane’s songs to pack a suitcase to

Alela Diane: Wild DivineAlela Diane: Alela Diane & Wild Divine (Rough Trade, 4/5/11)

Alela Diane: “To Begin”

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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.

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