Joe Lee's Story

The Songs

  1. Tommy
  2. Steel Ridin' Cowboys
  3. Hammer Lane
  4. Demon Wind
  5. A Song For Mama
  6. Piggyback Ride (Take This Train To Hell)
  7. Reefer Madness
  8. In My Dreams

The Travel Store




Joe Lee in 1989It seems like I've always had a guitar in one hand and the wheel of a big truck in the other...
I was born and raised in Celina, Texas, a sleepy little town in the farm and ranch country just north of Dallas.  My dad was a professional square dance caller and my mom was a schoolteacher. I fell into playing music early on, when I was six. Guitar, piano, clarinet, drums, I'd just pick it up and before long I'd be making music with it.  If ever one of the neighbor kids lost their instrument, it could usually be found in my bedroom...
I started driving in the fields at thirteen, first tractors and then grain trucks.  At fifteen I went out on the wheat harvest, working all the way up into Kansas, always with my acoustic guitar next to me in the cab. I was getting restless though, and in 1970 I joined the Air Force to see the world...
Like a lot of guys in the service in those days, I was more restless coming out than I was going in, so I headed out to California, grew my hair, joined a band, got married, quit the band, got divorced, cut my hair, and moved back to Texas. I roughnecked awhile in the oil fields, till I noticed how many men were missing fingers from getting caught in those drilling pipe chains. I needed my fingers to play guitar, so before long I caught on driving water trucks, moved into long-haul after a bit, and it's been me and the highway ever since, almost three million miles and counting...
The songs on this album are a kind of roadmap of the way I feel about big trucking, the places I've been, the people I've known, and mostly the sense of freedom and adventure I wake up with every day.  I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed writing them. 

-Joe Lee Smith