Playlist – Arkansas

Verbose as we are, there is no way we can spend the next year constantly yelling talking to each other. Terrible as it may sound to the ears of an outsider, singing as loudly as possible is a frequent occurrence in The Highland Flinger (THF). We will make a playlist of what we’re slappin’ the air bass to. Each list will contain songs from artists/bands from the state or will allude to the state in some way.


1. Kris Allen – Heartless
More American Idols, por favor! “Kris with a ‘K’” as we call him, as not to confuse him with our brother-in-law, Chris, because yes, Mark’s sisters and I spoke enough about him to warrant this addendum. On Idol he was adorable and talented; when he sang this rendition of Kanye West’s song, I absolutely lost it (see performance HERE). I couldn’t get it downloaded quickly enough, but then realized it was a studio version that I did not like as much. So, I had to use some computer hacking skills to get the preferred live version. The limits I’ll go to in order to listen to “Kris with a K” knows no bounds.

2. Alan Jackson (featuring Jimmy Buffett) – It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere
Jimmy Buffet is from Alabama and Alan Jackson is from Georgia, but Jim “Moose” Brown, is from Arkansas and the writer of this Grammy-winning song that makes you feel perfectly fine with drinking at any hour. We had a “five O’clock somewhere” moment at Hog Haus Brewery near the campus of University of Arkansas. Mark found their java porter to be particularly “tall and strong”.

3. Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line
You obviously know Johnny Cash is from Arkansas after seeing “Walk the Line”, but perhaps you don’t know these 78 other things about him. I took several things away from this Flavorwire piece. Especially #31 & 36:

31. The camper Cash used for his amphetamine binges in the desert was named Jesse James. It had its windows spray-painted black so Cash could sleep during daylight hours, “but also because I just liked to spray-paint things black.

We have a camper called The Highland Flinger, however instead of amphetamine binges in the desert, we have internet binges next to McDonald’s and Starbucks. Spray painting the windows black is a genius idea for the light issue and would also remedy the possibility of people seeing in. We like spray painting things, too.

36. An ostrich attack left Cash with five broken ribs and internal bleeding.

Noted. Do not approach ostriches.

4. Leo Kottke – The Last Of The Arkansas Greyhounds
Missing the last bus out of Arkansas to anywhere else wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. We found it much prettier than expected with rolling hills and blooming plants. Speaking of descriptions, Kottke describes his own music sound akin to “geese farts on a muggy day”. Um, we’re going to take his word for it, but the creator of the Unofficial Leo Kottke Web Site wanted to flesh it out a bit more (click to read all about geese farts).

5. Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
After some long and frustrating days in the RV, it helps to sit and listen to some Al Green talking about staying together…times have definitely been good, bad, happy, and sad on this trip. Some highlights – getting media credentials to many big events (e.g. Bird’s of Prey and upcoming Kentucky Derby), being in an amazing crew for the International Balloon Fiesta, and even our very first Shamrock Shake. Some lowlights have included being treated rudely by a news producer, a recent tree issue that has left the air conditioning out of whack, some roof leakage, hot nights, and broken water pump. I need to listen to this song again just thinking about all of this.

6. Joe Nichols – Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off
This song hits home for a few of our friends and family members. In one instance, a friend has literally ended up in her birthday suit at her birthday party, but we’ve also seen water spray at people, desserts thrown around, vomiting in gift bags, and of course the plea not to be judged. Names have been withheld to protect those involved… and we won’t tell you who of these examples was one of our parents.

7. Bruce Springsteen – Mary Queen Of Arkansas
We thought that was Hillary?

8. Damien Jurado – Arkansas
Damien Jurado made another one of our playlists with his song “Kansas City.” Other songs of his include “So on, Nevada”, “Hoquiam”, and “East Virginia”. So, we’re curious if he did a cross country road trip too? We’re also wondering if he participated the Hoquiam Logger’s Playday.

9. Black Oak Arkansas – Hot And Nasty
The RV gets hot and nasty…let’s not take this to the bad place, people. We know we’ve mentioned the heat retention capabilities of the RV, but it often leads to uncomfortable sleeping or even the spoiling of food, exacerbation of the smell of shoes, or whatever lurks beyond in the holding tanks. We can’t decide if hot or cold weather is worse.

10. Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
We wouldn’t have guessed that rocker back, Evanescence is from Arkansas, but THEY ARE. Mark will inevitably turn this song up each and every time it comes on the radio.

11. Lucero – Banks of the Arkansas
We stood on the banks of the Arkansas in Wichita, KS where the Little AND Big Arkansas rivers meet and where the Keeper of the Plains statue stands.  Then, we frolicked through the Little Rock River Market where we learned all of the different spellings of Arkansas through time.

12. The Gossip – Arkansas Heat
Going hand in hand with Black Oak Arkansas, it is steamy in the south. There are also a lot of bugs that thrive in such an environment. The windshield has claimed many bug lives and while it’s gross, there have been an array of color splats- blue, yellow, pink, and orange among your typical frothy goo.  But the saddest thing we’ve seen is a lone butterfly wing in the grill of the RV.

13. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones- Arkansas Traveler (Acoustic Version)
We really like this band’s name. We’d like to try it out with our own names:
Mark Slattery and the Slattones or Jackie Richey and the Richtones. Now all we need is those guitar and piano lessons we’ve been talking about.

14. Tracy Lawrence – Find Out Who Your Friends Are
We’ve definitely found out who are friends are on several occasions on this trip. Most recently, Stephanie B. and Matt C. let us stay at their house while we tried to avoid harsh weather in Texas inside of a house…and they let us use their shower, too. We’ve had so many friends who have helped us with either a meal, a place to sleep, a spot to park the RV, or just by going out of their way to meet up with us to hang out. Some of these people we hadn’t seen in 10+ years, yet they took the time and energy to help us. We can only hope to have such good fortune on the remainder of our trip!

(Looking at you Dan N., Cara C., Devin R., Abbey H., Karin S., Janell M., Katie M., Ashlea M., Lori D., Matt H., Christine R., Alicia R., Chris R., Evan T., Ethan T., Rachel G., Cara S., Chad S., Will S., Kathleen O., Elizabeth W., Andy C., Doug M., Judy M., Alyssa M., Kyrsten R., Andrea B., Kathleen D., Nadina B., Mandy M., Allie N., Rich N., Rich N., Debbie N., Dave S., Emily W., Linda V., John F., Clayton F.)

15. Scott Joplin – The Entertainer
Finally, something I remembered from high school American history! Scott Joplin composed “The Entertainer”, which is a great example of ragtime music. This only makes sense because he is also known as “The King of Ragtime.” You’ve no doubt heard this song streaming from ice cream trucks and music boxes and it’s also a quintessential piano lesson song. Some other notable things include that fact that he lived in the late 19th Century and was African American, so you can only imagine the few opportunities open to him at that time. (Thank you, Ms. Cranfield)

Want to hear this list on Spotify? Enjoy! Arkansas

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