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National Park Soundtrack Volume 3

Five more parks!

Howdy again folks! Hope you’re all doing well!

Here’s the link to last weeks NPS:

You know the drill by now, and we had a couple more good suggestions last week, so let’s hop right in!

Sequoia National Park: “Old Forests” by National Park Radio

Eyeball Seesaw, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

What a name for a band to be on this list. I suppose it was just a matter of time before one of their songs made it on here.

Sequoia National Park was one of two recommended last week by Alexander Briseño, and I love this one. I really want to visit this park someday for sure.

The song’s name obviously fits, because the sequoias are very old, but that’s not even the main reason I chose it. I think the sound of the song just works for this area.

I would normally see a forest like this and immediately go to country music, but this one gives a bit of a different aura. I think it’s because it’s in Northern California as opposed to some southern state. That whole area makes me feel more indie song vibes, and I think “Old Forests” has the perfect mix of indie and country elements.

It’s just a good outdoors song as well. I could easily see someone with an earbud in, taking a walk, or bike ride through Sequoia to this song.

Yosemite National Park: “The Winding Stair Mountain Blues” by Turnpike Troubadours

Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The second suggestion from Alexander Briseño, was the beautiful Yosemite.

I was having trouble immediately choosing a song for this one, so I went scrolling through my music, and I knew this was the one as soon as I saw it. The mountains of Yosemite are pretty much exactly how I imagine the “winding stair mountain.”

The driving instrumental is unrelenting and in your face, but somehow still serene. This is the feeling I get from Yosemite as well; those huge towering mountains standing intimidatingly, glaring down on the quiet, peaceful-looking valley.

You get the feeling that you are totally safe, but if you wanted to find danger lying in the rocks, you could very easily do so.

Craters Of The Moon National Monument and Preserve: “53.49” by Childish Gambino

Matthew Dillon from Hollywood, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

This one was recommended by Krystal Mossbarger, and I hadn't actually heard of it before her mention. This is a bizarre, otherworldly landscape, which you can probably infer from the name.

The preserve looks absolutely alien in some places, but gorgeous and tranquil in others. I wanted a song that reflected this by being crazy and intense in some places, but also more relaxing in others. “53.49” was perfect for this, and the weird name just adds to the fit.

This song starts with such a burst of intensity, but when the chorus hits; everything gets stripped back and Glover’s vocals shine through, and sound angelic. The instrumental and supporting vocals and ad-libs, are just as all over the place.

This song is truly a mixed bag, and would sound great in these hardened-lava filled plains.

Death Valley National Park: “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage The Elephant

Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons

I’ll admit I was probably influenced by a few things to pick this one. I discovered this song because the intro to the video game, Borderlands, features this song playing, as the characters drive through a Death Valley-like environment. The music video is also shot in a desert location as well, so it seems pretty synonymous.

I love this song for it’s seedy feel. It’s such a grimy, badass song. The backing track is so well-fitting to the lyrics, and the delivery is perfect. I love the way it’s sang with such a nonchalance, it just gives the song loads of attitude.

There is a reason the directors of the music video, and the game scene chose a desert for this song — it simply fits. There’s not really a proper way to quantify why, either, it just does.

Congaree National Park: “The Legend Of Wooley Swamp” by The Charlie Daniels Band

Congaree National Park from Hopkins, SC, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

This is another one I never really knew about, even though it’s in South Carolina; a state I’ve been to many times. This place is pure swamp and I love it. I want to visit it now that I know about it.

The song choice here is pretty obvious. Any song about a swamp would’ve worked, but this one is an old favorite from my childhood. It’s a very grim, spooky story about an old hermit that lived out in the Wooley Swamp, and a gang of teens who planned to kill him and rob him. This is the origin story of how the swamp became haunted by all their souls.

I’m honestly glad I found a swamp park because I adore this song. Charlie Daniels was one of the best story-tellers out there, and this song often gets overlooked by “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”

The instrumental is stellar as well. It’s got a creepy, subdued tone while Daniels is telling the story in the verses, and goes full on country rock for the choruses.

I can clearly see Congaree being “Wooley Swamp.”

Thanks for reading the third edition of this series! I hope you enjoyed my picks!

Let me know what you think about them in the comments, and as always; feel free to suggest another national park you’d like to see in the next one!




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Critical Country

Critical Country

I’m Ethan, and this is my (mostly) country music blog: Critical Country | Top Writer in Country Music and Music | Contact me at

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