Perhaps sensing that moving on was a predominate American response to solving a whole host of life's problems, and recognizing that the long-haul trucker was a close cousin to the riverboat gambler, Dave Dudley
shrewdly grafted reverb-heavy Telecasters to a slowed-down rockabilly rhythm and almost single-handedly invented the truck-driving subgenre of county in the early '60s. He would stretch the long lonely road metaphor from Nashville to Bakersfield in such classic trucking songs as "Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun," "There Ain't No Easy Run," and the decidedly un-PC "Two Six Packs Away." With his deep, workingman's voice, Dudley
made a kind of cowboy poetry out of the nomadic lifestyle of truckers, and lines like "the highway is a part of hell that never caught fire" from the Tom T. Hall
-penned "Listen Betty (I'm Singing Your Song)" give his best recordings a timeless shelf life (unless, of course, America ever falls out of love with motion). This fine anthology of his Mercury singles has all of these songs, plus an oddly effective piece of mellow folk-rock from 1970, "Comin' Down." The only thing keeping this from being the absolute Dudley
compilation is that it doesn't contain his best ever truck-driving song, the immortal "Six Days on the Road," which was released on Golden Wing Records in 1963, just months before he signed with Mercury Records.