Sunday, September 16, 2007

Getting There

Well, the trip down was better than I expected: no rain and a pretty nice day, all in all. The trip is about 6.5 hours of driving, and with appropriate stops took us about 7.5 hours.

Along the way we listened to some music, primarily consisting of “Best of” CDs, including Chicago, Earth, Wind and Fire 2, and the Doobies. The Doobies’ “Best of” was far and away the best of the three that we listened to, and the others were pretty good. In fact, the Doobies CD may be the best “Best Of” that I’ve ever heard. It’s just one butt-kicker after another, and only has two tracks that aren’t great.

It starts out with “China Grove,” then moves on to “Long Train Runnin’,” followed by “Takin’ It To The Streets,” and then “Listen To The Music.” Geez! It just doesn’t let up!

Next, it’s “Black Water,” “Rockin’ Down The Highway,” “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “South City Midnight Lady” (my least favorite), “Take Me In Your Arms,” and ends with my second least favorite, “Without You.”

The Dooby Brothers have strong and legitimate rock-n-roll credentials, going back to 1971 with their first album, even though none of their best tunes were on that one. The next year was a breakout year for them, with the release of “Toulouse Street,” the album that caught the world’s attention, and which contained “Listen To The Music,”“Rockin’ Down The Highway,” and “Jesus Is Just Alright,” three of their best ever.

The Doobies have the ability to write good songs, the way a lot of other groups and singers did, but they have the added advantage to have mixed in imagination and creativity, characteristics lacking in so many of the white rockers of those early years. There isn’t much of anything more dreadful to musicians than most of the white rock-n-roll of the late 50s/60s/early 70s. The “Best of the Doobies” CD was released in 1976, which was before a lot of other great tunes from this group were made.

Well, I digress.

The trip is Interstate all the way, expect for the last 20 miles, so it was pretty easy driving. We stopped in Statesville, NC at a favorite spot, the Carolina Barbeque, for lunch, and hit the road again. Not much traffic, until the last 3-4 miles, and except for Virginia and North Carolina (where we saw at least seven cars pulled over) the “po-lice” weren’t interfering. When we got to Columbia and hit I-26, it was smooth sailing, and the I-95 corridor from about Orangeburg to Hardeeville was a racetrack, which in my experience is the normal condition of that stretch. It isn’t unusual to see folks travelling along at the speed of major league fastballs, although it wasn’t quite that fast yesterday. The hard-driving tunes of the Doobies fit right in with that part of the trip.

We got to our room, which was better than 80 degrees when we arrived, and settled in about 5:30, and a short time later headed to Shelter Cove Harbor to get some dinner at Scott’s Fish Market, which featured a reasonably talented singer/guitarist. After resolving the Internet connection problem, we picked up some supplies, checked in with the kids, cursed our lousy cell phone service, and called it a night.

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