Ten years on, and in anticipation of the massive World Book Night event, it’s impossible for me to overstate the connection between this book and this album. Night after night I sat up way into the wee hours, hitting the keyboard with this album playing over and over. In particular I remember working all night long on a passage about what it was like to drive into my hometown late at night. Drank a lot of coffee and put “Outskirts” on single-song repeat for hours.

Writing this morning, different book, same song. Sending a thank you out to James McMurtry.

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