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Lots o' Links, No Patties

This is the place I'm supposed to be tootin' some other folks' horns and introducin' you to my compadres in literary excess.

So, here, at long last, are the infamous Rootin' Tootin' Links, listed here in the hope that they will lead you to greener pastures. Just watch out for cowpies...

Rootin' Roadtrippin' and Other Dynamic Detours 

  • Brainerd, Kansas: Time, Place and Memory on the Prairie Plains -- My foray into community history, with lots of photos and interviews documenting the history of a very small, proud place smack-dab in the middle of the Sunflower State.
  • Road Trip USA -- Author Jamie Jensen's "cross-country compendium of old highways and less-traveled routes, avoiding the soulless Interstates and steering you toward roadside attractions, historic places and oddball Americana." Your online guide to 11 grand old pre-interstate roads, including US 66, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Great River Road. You can pick up the beautifully illustrated book, Road Trip USA, through this Rootin' Bookstore link. Also check out Jamie's most recent tome, The DK Eyewitness Guide to the USA
  • Ballparks and Roadtrips -- Itching to hit the road in search of timeworn minor league baseball stadiums in timeless locales? This site's "Ballparks Across America" feature makes a great online companion to the old standby, Baseball America's Directory. Also check out the non-affiliated, but equally well-documented Iowa Baseball Road Trip site for a sneak peak at some of the Midwest League's oldest stadiums in places like Cedar Rapids, Burlington, Clinton and Quad Cities.
  • ePodunk -- This innovative private company, based in gorge-ous Ithaca, N.Y., provides a huge range of data (including scads of cool old postcards!) on over 25,000 American communities. You'll find info on towns as small as Brainerd and as big as Boston herein.
  • -- Minneapolis writer James Lileks has assembled a wonderful, highly visual collection of Americana on his personal site. Highly recommended for fans of '50s and '60s postcard representations of the vanishing American motel, roadside diners and "good eats" establishments. And if you're a dog lover, you'll want to meet his photogenic pooch, Jasper, as well.
  • Out West -- A quarterly "on-the-road" newspaper founded in 1987 by roving editor/reporter Chuck Woodbury, who spends much of each year roaming the old highways of the American West searching for stories about whatever he finds interesting.
  • The Great Plains Chautauqua Society -- The online home of the Great Plains Chautauqua Society, which stages an annual re-creation of this Gilded Age community event in places like: Lindsborg, Ks.; Enid, Okla; Tama, Ia.; and Hazen, N.D.
  • KC Star's Millenium History Project -- All great road trips start in Kansas City, where the both the Oregon/Calfornia Trails and Santa Fe Trail made Cowtown a prominent crossroads before the Civil War. Join the Kansas City Star's Shirl Kasper and Rick Montgomery as they navigate the history of KC and the West, with engaging prose, period photos, great historical links and even RealAudio period song samples. Not to be missed!
  • AutoPilot -- Get there fast or the scenic way. Online directions from Anywhere, USA to Anyplace You Wanna Be. 
  • Route 66 -- Swa Frantzen's ultimate online guide to the Mother Road. 
  • Burma Shave Signs -- A compilation of the best of Burma Shave's roadside ad copy from the days when advertising still had a sense of humor and people actually took the time to read. While driving, of course. 
  • Two-Lane Roads -- The Two Lane Roads quarterly newspaper features offbeat attractions, museums, funny signs, and other roadside delights, on America's backroads. Editor Loren Eyrich enjoys the RV lifestyle in a tiny motorhome, avoiding turnpikes & freeways. 
  • The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the Civil War -- My favorite history professor, Ed Ayers (University of Virginia), is breaking new ground with this huge Web-based forum for comparing two mountain communities (one in the South, one in the North) and how they dealt with the Civil War. Shelby Foote never had it so good. 
  • The Interactive Santa Fe Trail Homepage -- Everything you need to know about getting from Missouri to New Mexico without ever setting foot in an airport. You'll be ruttin' around in no time. 
  • Guide to Vegetarian Restaurants Around the World -- An essential guide for those of us who do a lot of traveling with vegetarians. State-by-state, province-by-province and country-by-country guides to great healthy finds that you'd never uncover on your own. 
  • Frank Brusca's Route 40/National Road Site -- All about the young nation's first federally funded road, originally stretching from Cumberland, Md., to Vandalia., Ill. 
  • The Historic Lincoln Highway -- An online reminder of US 30's grand old roots, focusing on its passage through Iowa. 
  • The U.S. Trail Information Center -- State-by-state listings of over 700 hiking and biking trails along abandoned railbeds, courtesy of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
  • Barn Again! -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation's farm building preservation program, with information on who to contact in your vicinity to get that sagging old family barn up-to-snuff.
  • Weird New Jersey -- Offbeat travel guide to the Garden State's local legends and best-kept secrets (aside from the Clara Barton rest area). 
  • Lewis & Clark -- The official PBS guide to the Ken Burns documentary about the first Great American Off-Road Trip. Hear river rat/historian Stephen Ambrose get all hot and bothered about Rush's thunderbolts and download an incredible set of lesson plans that bring the expedition to life for the younguns in yer life. 
  • The Dallas Mopar Web Server -- If you're a muscle or classic car fanatic, Brian Harshaw's huge collection of car photos, tips and links is a must-visit.

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Music Worth Rootin' Fer 

  • New West Records -- This upstart Austin label boasts a genre-spanning line-up, including the hard-rocking Slobberbone, Grammy-winning r&b singer Delbert McClinton, Billy Joe Shaver and The Flatlanders.
  • -- Richard Hefner's instructional site for banjo, folk guitar, and ukulele. The site contains hundreds of pages of tablature and tutorials as well as the ezFolk Link Directory, with links to over 1,600 music sites. Worth a visit if only to finally learn how to play "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on your ukelele.
  • Diesel Only Records -- Founded in 1990, Diesel Only Records is Brooklyn's home of "Rig Rock." Dedicated to truckin' music and the preservation of the vinyl single, the label has released dozens of diesel-fueled 45s and three critically-acclaimed "Rig Rock" compilations, featuring the best of NYC's early '90s country-rock all-stars, including The World Famous Blue Jays, Blue Chieftains, Mumbo Gumbo, 5 Chinese Brothers and Courtney & Western.
  • No Depression Magazine -- Where alt-country fanatics get their fix. 
  • Catfish Records -- The on-line home of one of the world's foremost roots music record labels, featuring label information, competitions, the entire Catfish catalogue, and constantly updated news on roots music from around the world.
  • The American Folklife Center -- Loads of links to this Library of Congress treasure trove's countless online collections, publications and recordings. A must-visit if you're ever in the Washington, D.C., area, if only to spend an afternoon listening to old field recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture's listening room.
  • Roughstock's History of Country Music -- If you don't have time to read a Peter Guralnick, Nick Tosches or Greil Marcus book on the subject, start here. You won't be sorry, but your significant other may be. 
  • KC Jazz History -- A great jumping-off point to explore the roots and current practioners of the unique, swinging Kansas City sound, with links to a number of other jazz-related sites.
  • The Washingon, D.C., City Paper -- Meet Eddie Dean, the man who introduced me to the Stanley Brothers and continues to chronicle America's seamy underbelly of unrepentant moonshiners, hot-sheet moteliers and genre-challenged music-makers. 
  • Hoobellatoo -- Meet ex-Enormous Richard bandmates, Chris King, Elijah Shaw and Joe Esser, and join in their efforts to record every wild-eyed artistic genius from sea to shining sea as part of their Hoobellatoo field recording project. And also check out Mr. King's while yer at it. 
  • The COWPIE Song Corral -- This searchable database of country and folk song lyrics and tablature is one of the many wonderful nuggets to be mined on Greg Vaughn's Roughstock/COWPIE guitar-pickin' portal. Ever wondered just what the hell George Jones was gurgling about in "The Race Is On?" Go here to find out! 
  • GumboPages -- New Orleans expatriate Chuck Taggart's compilation of all things Cajun and roots-related, including info on his roots music radio show at Santa Monica's KCRW. 
  • Redneck Underground -- Steve French's Atlanta-based alt-country portal, replete with lots of old Rootin' Around columns, tour dates, reviews and even its own station, Redneck Underground Radio
  • Purr Magazine -- Sound Views compadre Gary "Pig" Gold's monthly musical expose. 
  • The Internet Folk Radio List -- City-by-city listings of folk- and roots-friendly radio stations. 
  • Hungry for Music -- Non-profit D.C.-based charity organization dedicated to musician mentoring, creativity workshops and concert programs for inner-city children. Check out label's great baseball CDs, The Diamond Cuts Series. The label also puts out an annual Christmas CD, A Holiday Feast, featuring a sleigh-full of holiday rockabilly, blues and R&B originals from a bunch of local D.C. acts, including Evan Johns, The Grandsons and Honky Tonk Confidential. 
  • Blues & Rhythm -- Tony Burke's UK-based blues & r&b mag. 
  • French Friends of Jerry Lee Lewis -- This Francophone tribute to the Killer proves that you don't need a telethon or a friendship with Dean Martin to make it big in Paris, after all.
  • RootsWorld -- Cliff Furnald's online roots music zine, featuring reviews of the latest world music, folk and other roots-related stuff (like some really old Rootin' Around columns!). 
  • Blues World Magazine -- Check out Joel Slotnikoff's in-depth stash of blues, r&b and soul history, profiles and reviews, including my old pal Eddie Dean's, "Desperate Man Blues," a craggy portrait of wacked-out-but-wonderful 78 collector, Joe Bussard
  • Folk Roots Magazine -- The Web variant of Ian Anderson's swell UK-based roots, world music and folk magazine. 
  • The Canadian Music Encyclopedia -- This exhaustively researched online-only resource is the work of Toronto music critics Jaimie and Sharon Vernon. Every entry includes an extensive artist and/or band biography as well as a comprehensive discography. After you find the lost Canadian bands of your dreams on this site, click on over to Maple Music to download a sample track and then purchase the CD in an artist-run, artist-friendly fashion. They ship anywhere in the world, including the US of A. 
  • Laura Cantrell's Radio Thriftshop -- The Internet home for Brooklyn singer/songwriter Laura Cantrell's eclectic, twang-happy weekly radio show, broadcasting real-time for the past decade or so on WFMU, New Jersey's last great freeform radio station. . 

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Other Stuff I Think Is Real Swell 

A random sampling of the trivial matters that fill my drive-time daydreams (and my off-hours mental meanderings): 

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Dangerous Dopplegangers!

For some strange reason, there are some other guys out there proud to be associated with some components of my name. Venture here at your own risk! 

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Gastronomium Pandemonium! 

More than you ever wanted to know about good old American roadfood and its after-effects :-) 

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Retro Rootin'
Rootin' Reviews
Rootin' Roadtrips
Rootin' Bookstore
Roots of Rootin'
Roto' Rootin'
Rootin' Links
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