Songs from a desert hut in the Sahara to a pick-up truck in Alaska – and a men’s prison in Belgium – have kept the author going in lockdown
Boats have featured in my travels ever since the mid-90s when, aged 22, I bought a narrowboat to live on. I was working in London, but the boat was in Cheshire. I’d never piloted a narrowboat before and I had two weeks off work to get it down south. The soundtrack that came to define this eventful voyage was Kentucky banjo player JD Crowe’s groundbreaking, eponymous 1975 album, now so revered it is known simply by its catalogue number: 0044. I became obsessed with this opening track, not just for JD’s banjo mastery but for its nostalgic longing for a simpler, rural life, as I made my slow watery way through the backwoods of my own country.