Luke Doucet's 'Long Haul Driver' Gets It Right
Nothing is more conspicuous, yet more invisible, than a big truck. They're on every highway, yet most people don't think about them unless they're trying to drive past one. Even when you get up close to these 18-wheel behemoths, you might think more about chrome and steel than the person behind the wheel.
But Canadian singer-songwriter Luke Doucet spends so much time on the road as a touring musician that he began to imagine what it would be like to live the life of a trucker. Thus, "Long Haul Driver" gets it just right on Doucet's seventh album, Blood's Too Rich.
Trucking is not an easy life. It's physically demanding, monotonous, short on sleep and long on bad food. In this song, Doucet focuses on the loneliness of being away from home and family. He conveys what must be a painful moment for professional drivers — the moment they have to leave their loved ones behind for days or weeks on end and face the road alone. But Doucet also understands that love shortens the distance, and makes parting bearable.
With visions of guitar strumming and picking flowers on the side of the road, "Long Haul Driver" romanticizes the gritty reality of trucking. But Doucet's glimpse of the long haul is pretty accurate. He describes the repetitive nature of the job — driving thousands of miles a week, endlessly loading and unloading the truck, and trying to squeeze in a little joy whenever possible.
But Doucet also captures one of the reasons these truckers keep rolling: the sense of autonomy that comes with the job. Of course, having the best office view in the world — a driver's-eye view — doesn't hurt.
Meredith Ochs hosts a daily talk show on Sirius Satellite Road Dog Trucking channel called Freewheelin.'
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