Plenty of clever lyrics in this batch of mostly newish songs. Included in them is Parker Millsap’s shout-out to Tucumcari in the opening line of his “Truckstop Gospel.” The place sounded instantly familiar. I thought the memory may have stemmed from a road sign I’d passed many times growing up on summer trips to East Texas, but no, the internet told me, that was Lake Tawakoni.
My brain kinda had the right idea, just in the wrong state. Tucumcari is right off I-40 in eastern New Mexico, another place I’ve passed by plenty of times en route from Dallas to Los Angeles. Despite the compelling billboard campaign, I’ve never stopped. Maybe next time. It does after all, have the distinction of being the largest city between Amarillo and Albuquerque. The population that gives it this acclaim? Just over 5,000 people.
I like moments like these, when a lyric that may or may not have any deeper meaning besides fitting in a song (how many other truck stop towns rhyme with “…Bible that I carry?”) lead you down a rabbit hole of old memories and new bits of knowledge that are crazy to me. Ok, so Amarillo and Albuquerque are only 285 miles apart. I’ve driven all over the American west. I should have a handle on its vastness. But nope, clearly not.
But this month, whether you’re out in the void, or penned in by traffic, at least you’ll have something to listen to.