Yesterday, I made the drive from Aiken, SC to Hixson (Chattanooga), TN and then onto Lake Charles, LA, where I overnighted, before getting to Houston, TX this morning. Yes, it was a long day (16 hours driving) and I was tired enough so that when I stopped, I settled for a $55.00 room at a Motel 6 with a “no soliciting” sign taped on the wall outside my room. Bedbug check was negative, but I digress.
I have been a fan of Steve Forbert since 1978 when I was attending college in Maryland. Steve’s debut album, Alive on Arrival, includes the song “Goin’ Down To Laurel.” Steve was living in NYC at the time and I just kind of assumed, because I was in Maryland and Laurel, MD was South (Down) of New York, that is the town the song was about.
Yesterday, as I drove the famously boring Hwy 59 from Chattanooga, TN to Slidell, Louisiana, I drove through Meridian, MS, home of the late, great Jimmie Rogers . . . and Steve Forbert. As I continued South for about an hour, I saw signs for “Laurel”. which I now realize is likely the “Laurel” Steve was referring to when he sang “I’m goin’ down to Laurel . . .”
Thanks to Jack Sonntag for introducing me to a plethora of new music, but especially for handing me “Alive on Arrival” to listen to.