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In-cab Fever
All work, no play makes Jack a brain-dead workaholic
Truck driving is a job that can easily demand that 80 or 90 percent of your waking hours be working hours. Even when you’re off-duty, too often you’re on a short leash. Seeking a healthy balance while you are sitting for hours in your truck or in a truck stop isn’t easy, but we’ve got some ideas to stave off the “in cab fever.” Whether you need an entertaining escape or an intellectual retreat, we’ve got you covered.

‘The Tao of Willie’
Willie Nelson is famous for being a singer, songwriter and more. Although he’s not particularly renowned for being a modern day Plato, his philosophies on life are an entertaining read.

In “The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart” he teams up with writer Turk Pipkin to tout unsophisticated and honest perspectives derived from his life. And you gotta admit, what a life. It’s Nelson on survival, contentment, God, existence, women, and more. There’s even a chapter on the real reason behind BioWillie and why biodiesel is part of his tao.

The book is Nelson’s guide to being true to yourself, the Willie Way. Road warriors will relate.

Now published in paperback by Gotham Books.

– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor

‘Roadshow’ takes you there
The way Neil Peart chooses to tour across America is not typical of a rock star. The legendary drummer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band Rush likes to escape from the tour buses and screaming fans to find peace from the saddle of his motorcycle.

In “Roadshow: Landscape with Drums – A Concert Tour by Motorcycle” Peart chronicles his never-ending zeal to find adventure and hold onto solace in a world of personal highs and lows.

Published in 2006, “Roadshow” is one part rock journal and one part personal diary, woven together on an endless stream of back roads where not even the satellite navigation system – lovingly nicknamed “Doofus” – can figure out what is around the next bend.

Currently available in paperback by Rounder Books.

– By David Tanner, staff writer

Need a dose of cowboy philosophy?
OK, so you’re listening to XM Channel 13’s “Willie’s Place” or watching RFD-TV, and thinking “where can I get more of this dude Baxter Black?” Anything you need to know about the work of this cowboy poet and humorist, or where to buy it, can be found at

My favorite collection is Baxter Black’s “Double CD.” It’s a shortened version of his box set and features Baxter’s most requested poems and stories in a two-CD set (72 minutes).

This and a giant bag of Cheetos surely would be a great way to survive a particularly mind-numbing stretch of highway.

– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor

James McMurtry

James McMurtry is probably the best damn singer/songwriter that you never heard of, even though he’s the son of Larry McMurtry, author of “Lonesome Dove.” Mixing hot guitar licks, catchy tunes and lyrics that hit you hard in the gut, McMurtry has developed a solid following, but you will likely never hear his music on mainstream radio.

McMurtry’s first album, released in 1989, was produced by John Mellencamp. In 2003, McMurtry released the album Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records. In 2005 Childish Things garnered high critical praise and spent six weeks at No. 1 on R&R’s Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and the song “We Can’t Make it Here” won the Americana Music Awards for album and song of the year, respectively.

That big ol’ building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can’t make it here anymore.

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They’re just gonna set there till they rot
’Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square.

Well worth a listen, McMurtry’s music can be found on the Web at or at

– By Dave Sweetman, Land Line columnist