There’s something about turning from I-66 onto I-81 that alerts your brain that you’re heading back into the heart of Appalachia. I used to think people who had this heartfelt connection with ‘Country Roads, Take Me Home’ were overstatin’ it — until I was turning onto I-64 W driving home from D.C. one day and there was something about the twang as the song started that sent me to tears. (Admittedly it had been a long while away from out West to a little bit closer, since I’d been home for reasons of simply visiting, still yet.)

That said, there’s something about driving West Virginia roads and heading to a swimming hole or out to hike for a casual view of the old mountains in the height of summer. And this playlist keeps true to the twangy parts of home — at least startin’ out.

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