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  • Sherpa Bill’s Trail Picks 2013: Music for the Soul
  • Bill Long
  • hikingmusicSherpa Bill

Sherpa Bill’s Trail Picks 2013: Music for the Soul

Sherpa Bill’s Trail Picks 2013: Music for the Soul

In a blog post we did earlier this year, we learned that most hikers prefer to have no distractions while hiking. That is, we prefer to enjoy the splendor and beauty that is around us on the trail.…[pause for bird chirping].  

For those of you who DO sneak-in your ear buds, allow me to share some of my favorite tunes. They are inspiring, positive and somehow, fit-in just fine with Mother Nature.  

Everyone has his or her own taste and style when it comes to music. Mine? Call it eclectic. I gobble up music from a wide trough of sources. Mostly, I like fresh, new tasty tunes that you won’t normally find on the radio. I prefer an independent flair and talent by way of deep lyrics and diverse instrument play. At best, what you can expect from me is summed up as: college, indie, folk, electronic, world, contemporary or just plain rock-and-roll.  

  1.  Keep Your Head Up. Ben Howard (Every Kingdom)   Ben sings, “I’m walkin’ back down this mountain” in this moderate tempo, but still upbeat and motivating tune - totally appropriate when slogging up a your favorite peak.  
  2. This Year. The Mountain Goats (The Sunset Tree)   One of my favorite tunes I discovered last year. You’ve got to love the name “Mountain Goats”. This Year is an upbeat tune that will make you want to road trip with top down and leave your worries behind. Their video is entertaining too.  Dude, your head is bleeding!  
  3. Zorbing. Stornoway (Beachcomber’s Windowsill)   You will thank me for turning you on to this one. This tune is fun and strikes you as something you’ve never heard before, with a barbershop quartet-like chorus, operatic lead and brassy licks. [Zorbing – n.  The activity of travelling downhill inside a large air-cushioned hollow ball.]  
  4. Little Talks. Of Monsters and Men (Into the Woods)   Okay, so this one has gained some mainstream appreciation. But, it still made the cut. The melody is one you want to whistle and move to. The album name “Into the Woods” is appropriate, no?  
  5. Go to Sleep. Avett Brothers (Emotionalism)   I could go on an on about the Avett Brothers. If you haven’t seen them in person, they will not disappoint. They have a consistent sound, great lyrics and are extremely talented on all aspects. Think of this tune to help you wind down your day in your tent, trying to get some shut-eye.  
  6. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. Noah and the Whale (Last Night on Earth)   Noah and the Whale has impeccable lyrics. This little ditty will have you bobbing your head for sure. Build fire / press play / stare up at sky / repeat.  
  7. Stubborn Love. The Lumineers (The Lumineers)   This tune spent 10 weeks on the BillBoard Chart for good reason. It has broad appeal and makes you feel good without being too “pop”.  The lyrics prod you to “keep your head up”. That’s just the kind of inspiration you need on the trail sometimes.  
  8. Down in the Valley. The Head and the Heart (The Head and the Heart)   This melody is mellow and provokes introspection. The chorus builds slowly so wait for it…You’ll like it.  
  9. Hard Sun. Eddie Vedder (Music for the Motion)   Eddie Vedder is making a comeback with some of his new tunes. This song was featured on the movie “Into the Wild”. It is an acoustic, slightly melancholic tune that is sure to stick in your head.
  10. One Another. Hammock (Longest Year EP)   This last tune is a departure from my other recommendations. No lyrics here. Hammock is an ambient band of the “Friday Night Lights” genre. Keep this tune on low as you look out from a summit and ponder just how small you are in this big world.  
Enjoy! What are your favorite tunes in the wild? On Spotify? Just follow my playlist here: 
  • Bill Long
  • hikingmusicSherpa Bill

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