Thursday, 23 April 2009
Spuds. Even the state's tourism website admits that "many people don’t know much about Idaho except 'famous potatoes.'" Until I looked at visitidaho.org I too was among that "many" but now I've learned that Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in America, "deeper than the Grand Canyon" and Anderson Ranch Reservoir is known for its blue-ribbon fly-fishing.
There aren't many songs about the "Gem State" but I hope you find a few nuggets here. If you have suggestions for any I've omitted please leave a comment below.
MP3: The Divine Comedy - Idaho
As great a song about homesickness as you're likely to hear. Neil Hannon deserves extra credit for rhyming noisy with Boise. If you listen to just one of these songs listen to this one.
More Divine Comedy: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Yonder Mountain String Band - Idaho
The Yonder Mountain String Band are based in Colorado so why they're so fond of Idaho I'm not quite sure although I guess they do list plenty of reasons in the song.
More YMSB: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: The B-52s - Private Idaho
This is the only one of my Idaho selections that does actually mention potatoes. Crank it up loud and I defy you not to want to dance like Cindy Wilson and Fred Schneider do in the video.
More B-52s: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Idaho
The harmonies, bass line and horns make this a terrific listen. If they haven't already done so I suggest the Idaho Tourism office use the song in a TV ad; anywhere that's as "sweet as apple cider" is surely worth a visit. Now I find it hard to think of Valli without recalling his sweary performance as Rusty Millio in The Sopranos.
More Frankie Valli: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Rosalie Sorrels - Way Out in Idaho
The only native Idahoan featured on my list Sorrels is something of a minor legend in American folk circles and was pals with Utah Phillips and Hunter S Thompson. She played at Newport in 1966 and The Isle of Wight in 1970 and continues to tour today.
More Rosalie Sorrels: official site | Amazon
Next up on our trip round the States we hit the Mid-West for the first time and visit the Land of Lincoln - Illinois.
State Songs - links to every post on this musical road trip