Travel The Blue Highway


May 17, 2011 by David Gillaspie


The blues do a show at the local hoedown and you go listen.

Put any name in front of the blues, Chicago, Memphis, Delta, and it’s still the blues and you still hear it.

Take a coast drive from Louisiana to Mississippi and Alabama and you start to feel it.

Kris Kristofferson sang,

“Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headed for the train, feeling nearly faded as my jeans.”

He would have been feeling a whole lot better if he’d planned a stop at Boutin’s on 8322 Blue Bonnet while he was in town.  There’s nothing better for that fade away feeling than grilled gator, chicken gumbo, and crawfish wontons.

You don’t want to go into Boutin’s busted flat though.  It’s not like you’ll beat the bill by jumping off the back deck after you pretend to look for the bathroom.  It hangs over a river bank with a ton of turtles in the water. 

For a quarter you can buy turtle food from one of the many machines; if you jump in, you’re the turtle food. 

Kris sent Bobby McGee further south with, “Bobby flagged a diesel down, just before it rained, took us all the way to New Orleans.”

Did they stop at Deanie’s Seafood on 841 Iberville Street while they were there?  After hitting Boutin’s in Baton Rouge, you know they were ready for some crawfish.  It’s served by the pound in boil-bags. 

The road view to New Orleans is all flat terrain.  It’s wet, either a swamp, a wet-lands, or a marsh.  It’s so wet that the road is more of a long bayou bridge, which makes the view of flat even flatter.  On the prairie, or the ocean, you get a sense of the earth’s curve. 

Not much horizon curve from the I-10.  It’s low land worthy of the name.

Off I-10 in Mississippi, through Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula, you get back to the water on the right side.  On the left you get empty lots swept clean by Hurricane Katrina. 

This is when you feel the same emptiness.  A force of nature reclaims the land and punches you in the gut afterward.  The only evidence of the fine houses are their foundations.  From that, the missing houses feel ghostly.   

The only way to shake those blues is pushing straight through Alabama to Pensacola, Florida and The Crab Trap on 16495 Perdido Key Drive.  Slide in for some mood enhancers, also known as a plate of fried crab legs and a gulf breeze.

After hearing it takes a village to raise a child, and that you need friends to lean on during hard times, the blues remind you not to count on anyone but yourself.  That’s the American way and this is where America’s music was born. 

The least you can do with your blues is show respect, starting with a plate of fried catfish.  Don’t fight it.  Instead, hit the link at the top and sing along with George Thorogood on the Southern Route 66.     

 Blue Highway

People don’t pick you up on the blue highway
The blue highway, you travel alone
People don’t pick you up on the blue highway
Yes, the blue highway, you travel alone

I left my home
West of San Francisco
I was tryin to lose
These hometown blues
And if I don’t find
No sunshine
Out in California
Well I just don’t wanna
Live this life no more

Well, people don’t pick you up on the blue highway
Yeah, the blue highway, you travel alone
Well, people sure ain’t gonna look you up
Along the blue highway
On the blue highway, you’re always alone

Well, now there was a time
When I was so lonely
Another losin’ night, another losin’ fight
Around me

Well, I take no jibes
I meet no more snobs
On this highway
Yeah, all I got left
Is the sweet ole blues and me

Yeah, people don’t pick you up on the blue highway
Yeah, the blue highway you travel alone
Yeah, people sure ain’t gonna look you up
Along the blue highway
Yeah the blue highway is gonna be my home

Singing along with George


By David Gillaspie


3 thoughts on “Travel The Blue Highway

  1. […] the other hand, when I headed south, I visited Baton Rouge and the LSU campus and saw only […]

  2. JJM says:

    So you made t down to the Lowlands….. Glad you made it back.

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