Trains were the first relatively democratic form of transport. They were much better than the road networks which were barely passable in bad weather and speed was restricted to that of a horse or a pedestrian. Rivers and canals followed their own routes, and therefore often determined where settlements grew. Railways connected more towns; traders could reach markets quicker, and folk had wider horizons in terms of employment prospects and social gatherings.
They also provided a means of escape, especially in America, that vast expanse not yet criss-crossed with highways. Escaping from the law, from virtual slavery as a crop-sharer on a cotton plantation, from the misery that life has brought … aw lawd … the blues are full of that – erm – train of thought. And it is that aspect which this compilation is focussed on.
01. Blind Willie McTell – Travelin’ Blues
02. Bukka White – Special Streamline
03. Mississippi Fred McDowell – The Train I Ride
04. Paul Butterfield Blues Band – A Mystery Train
05. Tom Waits – Downtown Train
06. Joe Cocker – Hitchcock Railway
07. Cassandra Wilson – Last Train To Clarksville
08. Lemon Jelly – ’76 Aka The Slow Train
09. Ry Cooder – Train To Florida
10. Kevin Ayres – Stop This Train (Again Doing It)
List of Train Songs