Monday, November 22, 2010

Riding the Iron Horse: Train Songs

Riding the Iron Horse: Train Songs

Train I ride, sixteen coaches long
Well that long black train, got my baby and gone


There is probably no more potent and frequently used image in popular music than the train. You don’t have to delve too far into the blues or rock ‘n roll  or country or gospel repertoire before you smell the smoke, feel the sway or hear the clickety-clack and lonesome whistle of a train lumbering down the line.  Whether its carrying your baby away, or bringing her back, whether its taking you home or carrying you away, whether its transporting you to sweet glory or pulsating with sexual desire, the train is everywhere.

For your listening pleasure I’ve collected into several volumes a collection of train songs the crisscross the wide landscape of American (and in volume 3, some other countries) popular music.  And before you raise your eyebrow at the volume of songs, let me assure you this is but a sampler.  You could fill a dozen CDs with terrific train songs and still have parts of the terrain uncovered.

Rather than offer any commentary on the individual artists or songs I’ll let the music speak for itself. Enjoy the ride!

Track Listing (Volume 1)     
 01.  My Baby Thinks She’s a Train  by Asleep At the Wheel (23 Country Classics)
       02.  Number 12 Train  by Josh White (Collectible Jazz Classics)
       03.  Big Black Train by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (‘Tis Sweet to Be Remembered: The Essential  Flatt and Scruggs)
       04.  How Long Blues by Big Joe Turner (The Boss of the Blues)
       05.  Runaway Train by Roseanne Cash (King’s Record Shop)
       06.  Can’t Let Go by Lucinda Williams (Car Wheels on a Gravel Road)
       07.  If Love Was a Train by Michelle Shocked (Short, Sharp, Shocked) 
       08.  Train Fare Blues by Muddy Waters (His Best 1947 to 1955)
       09.  Train Home by Chris Smither (Train Home)
       10.  Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips (Gold)
       11.  B Movie Boxcar Blues  by Delbert McClinton (Second Wind)
       12.  I’m a Long Gone Daddy by Hank Williams III (Timeless)     
       13.  Love Train  by The O’Jays (Super Hits)
       14.  Freedom Train by Toots (Toots in Memphis)
       15.  Engine Number 9  by Wilson Pickett (Greatest Hits)
To get Volume 1 click here.

            Track Listing (Volume 2)
01.   Night Train by James Brown (Sex Machine: The Very Best of James Brown)
02.   Down There by the Train  by Johnny Cash (Cash: American Recordings)
03.   Let the Train Whistle Blow  by Johnny Cash (Cash: American Recordings)
04.   This Train is Bound for Glory by Johnny Cash and June Carter (A Believer Sings the Truth)
05.   Life’s Railway to Heaven by Patsy Cline (Jubilation! Country Gospel)
06.   Gospel Train by Larry Sparks (The Rough Guide to Bluegrass)
07.   Smokestack Lightning  by Howling Wolf (Moanin’ at Midnight)
08.   The Monkey and the Engineer by The Grateful Dead (Reckoning)
09.   Like a Freight Train by John Hiatt (The Open Road)
10.   That Train Don’t Stop Here by Los Lobos (Wolf Tracks: The Best of Los Lobos)
11.   The Train is Leaving by Lowell Fulson (Classic Cuts 1946 to 1953)
12.   The Midnight Special  by Harry Belafonte (The Very Best of Harry Belafonte)
13.   Freight Train by Taj Mahal (Music Fuh Ya)
14.   Fast Train  by Solomon Burke (Don’t Give Up On Me)
15.   Tulsa Queen  by Emmylou Harris (Luxury Liner)

To get Volume 2 click here.

            Track Listing (Volume 3)
      01.  Title Music from the film The Burning Train by R.D. Burman (The Bombay Connection: Vol. 1 Funk From Bollywood Action Thrillers 1977-1984)
      02.  Take the ‘A’ Train by Duke Ellington (Masterpieces by Ellington)
      03.  Stimela (The Coal Train) by Hugh Masekela (Hope)
      04.  The Mozdok’s Train  by Anouar Brahem Trio (Astrakhan Café)
      05.  This Train  by The Staple Singers (Freedom Highway)
      06.  People Get Ready  by Al Green (Higher Plane)
      07.  Chalte Chalte by Lata Mangeshkar (Pakeezah)
      08.  Il Rail wa Hamad (The Railway and Hamad)  by Ilham al Madfai (The Best)
      09.  Win My Train Fare Home by Robert Plant and Justin Adams (Sahara: Blues of the Desert)
      10.  The Train Won’t Wait  by Unknown (Unknown)

To get Volume 3 click here.

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