While it's not the most fuel-efficient thing to do, a fall drive in Colorado is an exhilarating and beautiful experience. Whether it's the glory of the Peak to Peak Highway or the joy of driving the length of Colfax Avenue, fall is a time to get out and bask in Colorado's glory before we hunker down for the soul-crushing cold of winter. And, well, winter is coming...
Before that, though, we wanted to present ten songs from Colorado artists to make your fall road trip a little better.
This whimsical jaunt takes you through all the things that make Colorado beautiful. The group's magnetic harmonies have long drawn listeners in, and as these musicians sing about "rivers flowing, huge pine trees, and mountains as far as you can see," you may start to feel a sense of tranquility and calmness. Don't get too peaceful, if you're the driver. If you are, it's time to get out and stretch your legs for a bit...or keep playing these songs...
"This Is How We Do Things in the Country"
Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Sometimes on a road trip, you take a wrong turn and find yourself in a less than forgiving situation. SCAC's tale of shallow graves and garden-tool murders can serve as a reminder that not all destinations are welcoming ones. Make sure, on your journey, you stick to the main roads, follow your GPS and don't talk to anyone with crooked eyes.
"Teenage Acid Party"
Ned Garthe Explosion
This song sets the stage for a different type of fall "trip." While fall colors may be enhanced by certain chemical "variables," we must insist you do not combine the two types of trips if you're behind the wheel. To be clear, DO NOT DRIVE WHILE ON LSD. You should have already known this.
What if you don't like driving, walking or riding a bike but still want to experience fall beauty? Just do as the band SPELLS suggests and take a plane! Experience the grandeur of Colorado from 30,000 feet above it with a drink in your hand and a cushy seat under your butt. Are those changing leaves or a passing car below? Who cares? You're drunk!
"This Empty Northern Hemisphere"
Gregory Alan Isakov
Since we're already in the air, let's keep going up in the sky. Gregory Alan Isakov has always had a knack for creating music that is steeped on earth but written from the perspective of the heavens. This song is lush, dreamy and best suited for a night drive under the stars, in another world, everywhere and nowhere, all at once.
This song is for the passengers – the ones who prefer to gaze and drift into the changing landscape as opposed to alertly following directions and staying the course. It is for the navigator who gently nodded off and is just returning to the world, guided back to reality by a gentle hand.
"Copper and Stars"
Planes Mistaken for Stars
Both the title of this song and the beautiful imagery of the band name make this a perfect but unlikely song to play during a fall trip. Original Planes Mistaken for Stars guitarist Matt Bellinger recently passed away, and long drives are also a perfect time to reflect on those we lost.
"Give It Up"
Black Hole Posse
If Denver is your destination on your fall road trip, then welcome...I mean, we guess. We've certainly had our fair share of visitors over the years and many of you have stayed. Things have changed considerably around the Mile High since Black Hole Posse released this song in 1996. So as you venture into town, listen to this song and soak up our city's musical history. This video features several shots of "Old Denver," which we miss and have always loved.
Already done with the pleasant fall drive and just want to get back home already? Throw on some Speedwolf and fucking gun it! Love of Satan not required.
"Fields of Gold"
It's been a long list and a long trip, and we're all tired. And, of course, Sting is from Colorado...um...don't Google that.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.