Writing Playlist: Bluegrass

Bluegrass and summer go hand in hand for me. The first Big Thing I ever did on my own was go on a road trip from Chicago to northeastern Utah by myself in peak summer. I had gotten accepted into the Denver Publishing Institute (a graduate certification for publishing and editing), and I was about to spend four weeks at the University of Denver campus. I also had a dear friend who lived in Vernal, Utah at the time, someone I met virtually in high school. Tyla and I became friends through an anime fandom, and when she found out I was going to be close to her neck of the woods for awhile, she told me to come out a little earlier and stay with her for a few days.

So I drove through central Missouri, Kansas, and all of Colorado in the first week of a steaming hot July. It took three days. And although I loaded my playlists with a wide variety of music (themed by the state, as one does), there was strong bluegrass representation in them, particularly for Kansas and Colorado. When I listen to bluegrass now, I can feel the simmering heat rising off the Kansas prairie and smell the pines as I drove through the mountains with a giddy terror that I’ve never felt since and will never forget.

I’m listening to a lot of bluegrass lately because it’s infusing itself with the next novel I’m writing, so I thought I’d put together a list of the tracks on regular rotation at present. It was only fitting that I do it on the six year anniversary of that transformative road trip. Enjoy!


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