Another big little idea from Bloodshot, the folks who’ve criss-crossed the nation’s byways seeking evidence of country music insurgencies, this split single straddles contrasting anecdotes in the epic love affair between North Americans and their cars.
Whiskeytown’s “Highway 145” is one of those songs you recognize the first time you hear it. You then find this girl racing through your mind for days. “Man she had a kickin’ machine, and man she really knew how to drive.” It’s a driven rocker that could only have been written about a stripper and her one true love, a gass-guzzlin’, rowdy, law-breakin’ machine. The bassline propels this song like a 409, and Ryan Adams’ burning-rubber guitar makes you eat her dust as she has her fuel-injected way all night with a country road.
On the flipside, literally and figuratively, is Canadian Neko Case’s loving country waltz to a ’63 Rambler. Case’s voice is as fluid and nuanced as Adams is raw and passionate: She’s Loretta Lynn to Adams’ Paul Westerberg. An adoring fiddle solo underscores her devotion to the durable roadmate whose engine she describes as “impressively small.” Through all the years and lovers, the straight six with the tube radio has started every time she’s turned it over. You’ll find yourself turning this 7-inch over and over again.