Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series
Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Ben de la Cour:
AH: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?
BD: Any way I can get it. IV drip would be best… but if I have a little time and I’m somewhere cool I like to find a local coffee shop and read for an hour before I start driving.
AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)
BD: Back when I started touring I was often so broke that I would bring a tent and camp out in random places. That was interesting. Spent a lot of nights sleeping in my car at rest stops or on quiet streets which is sometimes tough because I’m 6”3 and like to complain a lot.
AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?
BD: Anything that’s not Billy Joel.
AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?
BD: A bowie knife and two books. One for light reading and one for not-so-light reading. That’s three things. Sorry.
AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?
BD: I’m vegetarian so it can be tough sometimes. I also get really anxious and then don’t eat all day which makes me more anxious which makes it even harder to eat. It’s a fun game.
In the US I look for anything Vietnamese. It seems like wherever you go you can find some little mom and pop operation, and pho is always great road food since it’s not too filling and something in the broth seems to miraculously cure hangovers.
AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?
BD: The Isle of Perpetual Mental Wellness, with a brief trip to the archipelago of Love and Self Care.
AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?
BD: Don’t do drugs. Fortunately, like all good advice, I ignored it.
Find all things Ben de la Cour here: https://www.bendelacour.com
See other Key to the Highway interviews here: https://americanahighways.org/category/interviews/key-to-the-highway-series/ (click here for: Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt Sarah Shook & the Disarmers )
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