Spring Road Trips: Sonic Sidekicks

10 Oregon-Inspired Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Albums

Cue up this playlist for your next Pacific Northwest road trip.

By Emma Mannheimer February 26, 2019 Published in the March 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Let Woody Guthrie's Columbia River–inspired tunes soundtrack your next road trip.

Bundyville (Podcast)
Portland journalist Leah Sottile covers the 2016 clashes between federal agents and the Bundy clan: events that thrust Oregon’s rural Harney County into the national spotlight.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, Heidi W. Durrow (Audiobook)
Durrow, who grew up biracial in Portland, explores identity through the coming-of-age story of a girl relocated to the city under mysterious circumstances.

Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens (Album)
Stevens’s stripped-down seventh studio album—partially recorded in a Klamath Falls hotel—uses Oregon landmarks to plot an intimate topography of family and loss.

The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. Le Guin (Audiobook)
The protagonist of this sci-fi classic navigates power pitfalls and reality-bending dreams in a futuristic Portland.

The Hearts of Horses, Molly Gloss (Audiobook)
Gloss’s western stars a World War I–era female broncobuster in an Eastern Oregon town—one where horse whispering prevails.

Hear in the Gorge (Podcast)
Host Sarah Fox narrates little-told stories from across the Columbia River Gorge, from tales of the Oregon Trail to Hood River–born minority rights champion Minoru Yasui.

Radio Music Society, Esperanza Spalding (Album)
With her bewitchingly unpredictable vocals, the Grammy-winning jazz prodigy soothes the road-weary and celebrates her hometown of Portland on the track “City of Roses.”

Explore Oregon (Podcast)
Twangy guitar opens this geeky podcast from Salem’s Statesman Journal, which showcases beautiful Oregon places alongside concepts like limited-entry wilderness.

Mink River, Brian Doyle (Audiobook)
The fantastical goings-on of a seashell-size, ocean-adjacent Oregon town called Neawanaka fill this novel—one steeped in Pacific Northwest details.

Columbia River Collection, Woody Guthrie (Album)
In 1941, the Bonneville Power Administration sent the American folk hero up the Columbia to pen 26 tinny odes to the river’s new hydroelectric giants.

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