Friday Five: El Caminos

Juli Thanki | September 10th, 2010

El Caminos are part car, part truck, part creepy, part cool. I wish I had one. Instead I’ll just listen to these songs, ranked in order of their El Camino concentration.

  • The Man I Want To Be5. “It Takes a Man” – Chris Young

    A young man is told about his girlfriend’s pregnancy while the pair is sitting in his daddy’s El Camino. If you think about it, that car is probably the place where the child was conceived.

  • Gravity: Drag Me Down4. “El Camino” – Jennifer Nettles Band

    Before Nettles hit the big time with Sugarland, she recorded this frenetic country rocker for 2002 album Gravity: Drag Me Down. Consider it “Heads Carolina, Tails California”‘s scrappy, disillusioned offspring.

  • Where'D You Hide The Body3. “Rachel’s Song” – James McMurtry

    Drunk driving isn’t cool, kids, especially when you wreck your sweet ride and then leave it on the side of the road for the state troopers to find. All joking aside, if I had to pick a favorite McMurtry song, this one would probably be it.

  • Mojo Box2. “’69 El Camino” – Southern Culture on the Skids

    This song, from Mojo Box, is sleazy surf rock at its best. Plus, if anyone on this list actually drives an El Camino, my guess is that it’s probably Mary, Rick, or Dave.

  • Welder1. “El Camino” – Elizabeth Cook

    Whilst watching Cook perform this song during one of the many AMA showcases, Pierce Greenberg tweeted “‘El Camino’ is the best creepy car song ever.” While I’m not sure about “ever,” it is definitely the very best creepy car song on this week’s list. Cook paints a hilariously clear picture of the El Camino driver, and surprise, he’s bemulleted.

  1. Stormy
    September 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    They are creepy man. And not in a gangsta sort of way but in a perv sort of way.

  2. Howard
    September 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    ‘Honky Tonk band from Philadelphia’ is hard to say with a straight face but there is a band named Gas Money which is just that. They have a song called ‘El Camino Blues’ which is the stand out track on their album “Hopeless Love Affair’. Also included on that one is a pretty nice version of Charlie Feathers ‘Tongue Tied Jill’.

  3. sam (sam)
    September 10, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I believe SheDaisy’s song “Lucky 4 U” {I think this is the title] has a line about keying an ex’s el camino. Just a brief el camino mention.

  4. J.R. Journey
    September 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    There’s a skinhead hillbilly lawyer that tools around my town in a white El Camino. Definitely creepy all the way around.

    The ending to that Elizabeth Cook song is just as creepy.

  5. Sean
    September 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Wouldn’t want to leave out Chris Hennessee’s (Nashville Songwriter) song aptly titled, “El Camino.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-69C4fDj2JA

  6. Rick
    September 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    This is really an amazing list because every time I listen to the Elizabeth Cook song I picture James McMurtry behind the wheel of that El Camino with Jennifer Nettlesome on the seat cuddled up next to him! (lol)

    I saw Southern Culture On The Skids live in concert a week ago and don’t know if they played their El Camino song? The volume level was so high I had to use earplugs and every song sounded kinda alike (ie like sonic mush). They are fun to watch perform live though!

  7. Fizz
    September 11, 2010 at 1:24 am

    I admit my dad used to have an El Camino when I was a little kid. Being a trucker, he used it only to run around town in, and go to his rig and back. Toward the end, the headliner fell out of it, so he just drove it without. It wa s a color I might describe as “Tabasco red.”

    Surprised to see Southern Culture On The Skids mentioned here, as I figured they’d be too rock for this crowd. I saw them a couple times when in college, opening for other bands I actually wanted to see (and some friends were really into them). They’re better on record than live. I actually saw Gas Money once as well, oddly enough, and had almost forgotten about them until Howard mentioned them.

    Isn’t it funny how the El Camino enjoys such notoriety, but the Ranchero, which was basically the same vehicle, has almost none?

  8. Garten
    September 11, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Wow, great videos. I like especially the last video. sounds sooooo great!
    Didn’t know them before i saw the video.. but also watched more videos of them on youtube and found it fantastic! thanks ;)

  9. Ben Foster
    September 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    The first El Camino song that came to my mind was Pat Greene’s “Feels Just Like It Should.” Haven’t heard that in forever. Don’t really remember whether or not it was any good though.

  10. AusTXHorn
    September 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I would add as a coda to the El Camino songs: Ryan Bingham’s reference to a Ranchero, Ford’s obscure but IMO cooler answer to the El Camino, in the song Bread & Water.

  11. Wevo
    September 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Mike & The Moonpies have a track called El Camino off their new record “The Real Country.”

    Check out them doing most of the record here:
    http://www.archive.org/details/matmp2010-09-02.matrix.flac

    El Camino:
    http://www.archive.org/download/matmp2010-09-02.matrix.flac/matmp2010-09-02.matrix.d1t08_ElCamino.mp3

Tagged In This Article

// // // // //

Current Discussion

  • mrsandy: Also worth noting: Priscilla Mitchell was Jerry Reed's widow.
  • Leeann Ward: Wow! My heart goes out to Allison Moorer. She's had so many terrible things happen in her life. It's too …
  • Leeann Ward: I must have this audio book!
  • Juli Thanki: Ha! Same thing happened at Sturgill Simpson's show I went to last month, only he was singing "I Never Go …
  • Dave D.: On the topic of Lee Ann and dark songs, the funniest moment at this year's Americana Fest was during her …
  • Jonathan Pappalardo: I love Lori McKenna. Coming from Massachusetts, she's our local girl. I've been fortunate to see her in concert a …
  • bll: I suss her re-recording her hits for 'Gwendolen records' means she can stop MCA from releasing her hits against her.
  • Greg Judy: Cooler festivals and marching bands at the football games!
  • kevin ilinger: Fall colors bluegrass and apple cider
  • luckyoldsun: If I was a "long-time fan" of Trisha, I'd probably spring for the CD.

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton
  • sturgillsimpsonmetamodern
  • raypricebeautyis