Lonesome Highway

More music from the lonesome highways of America – Bessie Smith, George Antheil, Flynn & Co., Liam Wade, and a major masterwork of strange traveling sounds by Harry Partch. Classical, modern, country rock and lonesome desert blues.

In this episode of American Highways, pianist Guy Livingston brings us the lonesome road – starting with highways, and ending with a rail journey, fighting the boxcar blues. And yes, there will be a followup show – a lot of great country music and blues are still to come on this theme! Your suggestions are welcome.

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American Highways Episode 18: “Lonesome Highway”


Theme Music :
Steve Reich. The Desert Music (1984)
First Movement (Fast).
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams.
Nonesuch Records 79101.

Bessie Smith/traditional blues
1. Lonesome Desert Blues
Bessie Smith
Columbia 2-disc set: 472189 2

George Antheil
Sonata No. 5 (1950)
2. Andante/Allegro Molto
3. Minuet
4. Allegro
Guy Livingston, pianist.
WERGO 6661

Flynn & Co.
5. Desert Highway
Flynn & Co.
CD link

Liam Wade
6. Silver Apples: The Moon
Ann Moss, vocals, Steven Bailey, pianist.
CD BABY Angels Share Records (616892155249)

Harry Partch
7. U.S. Highball – a musical account of a transcontinental hobo trip. (1943, rev 1955)
Gate 5 Ensemble. Thomas Coleman, vocals.
NWR-80622-2 (CRI CD 752)


related link: A Lonesome Road by composer Larry Polansky:

A blonde, brunette and redhead are in a desert. The brunette says, “I brought some water so we don’t get dehydrated.” The redhead says, “I brought some suntan lotion so we don’t get sunburned.” Then the blonde says I brought a car door.” The other girls say, “Why did you bring that?” And the blonde says, “So I can roll down the window if it gets hot.”

Listen to Guy’s Lonesome Highways Podcast:

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