Key to the Highway: Charlie Musselwhite

Interviews Key to the Highway Series

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 Charlie Musselwhite.

AH:  How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?

CM: I like cold coffee. If I can get to a Starbucks that serves nitro with sweet cream….that’ll get ‘er done.

AH:  What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)

CM: A hotel in Vancouver BC. People lived here and cooked in their rooms. The bathroom was at the end of the hall. There were padlocks on the doors instead normal locking doors. One time I accidentally locked myself out of the room. I went to the office to see if they had another key. There was nobody there so I went back and kicked the door in. It took about 3 good kicks and it was very loud. The thing is ….not one person looked out to see what was going on. Many had their doors open and I know they heard me kicking in the door but nobody wanted to be involved in whatever was going on out in the hall.

AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?

CM:  Almost any Jimmy Reed CD. His music never gets old or boring as simple as it may sound.

AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?

Books. I have to read all the time on the road. And only non-fiction.

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)?

CM: I love Southern home cooking the best, but I can’t always find that. A patty melt from Denny’s works. If I get Chinese egg foo yung always seems to be a safe bet. Any good Mexican food usually hits the spot too.

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?

CM: There’s soooo many. Mexico City. The Evangeline Country of Louisiana. All of Spain and Italy and Scotland. London is a great city. Brazil is fascinating in many ways. Loved Portugal. China and Japan are fascinating. I never get tired of exploring the Mississippi Delta.

AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?

CM:  Keep the dirty side down.

Find all things Charlie Musselwhite here, including his new supergroup cd with the New Moon Jelly Roll Rockers: https://www.charliemusselwhite.com

See other Key to the Highway interviews here: https://americanahighways.org/category/interviews/key-to-the-highway-series/ (click here for: Jim White Danny Barnes  Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham 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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