“Sand” is a road song, I think. Having known pretty much nothing but the road, my catalog is full of these (sorry about that). Many of my friends are also “tar kissers” who race around the country for music, too, learning to live without food, shelter, sleep, showers, etc., except when these “necessities” pop up as kindnesses from caring locals.

Road nature is a meadow behind a dumpster, road health is finding any food, road highs and hangovers are mixed up to the point where you are no longer in touch with the contents of your own bloodstream.

Like firefighters, musicians sit and wait and play cards and bullshit and stare out the window and listen to their own breathing and sit and wait some more until suddenly, the fire calls and adrenaline kicks them headfirst into it.

I am basically a chicken; a lousy firefighter. At show time, I am shaky, terrified, hyper-aware that there is no longer any time to breathe (“pull over and stop to breathe”).

This is, admittedly, a bipolar lifestyle (“you pick me up, I pull you down”), but eventually, you hit the Road Wall and that‘s a good, gentle, softening thing. That‘s when touring boot camp pays off ‘cause, “your brain unbuckled,” it forces you to peel off the civilized skin you‘ve worn your whole life and see that underneath, you‘re a clean organism that needs nothing but music to survive. This is a luxurious state of mind.

This song is basically a love song to the tar kissers, those clean organisms that have raced through the country with me, a desperate hope that someday we‘ll be able to catch our breath, and an even more desperate hope that the road trip never ends.


Find this song and all my recent work, in multiple formats – including lossless, free for download on my CASH Music pages. Information on how you can support the creation and distribution of this music by becoming a subscriber is here.

Posted in: Kristin Hersh, music, words on April 22, 2009