On the Road

The Food Lovers’ Roadtrip Playlist

By: The Local Palate

What’s your ultimate road-trip playlist? We asked four well-traveled Southern food folks for their top recommendations.

Rhonda Cammon

Perfectly CordialNashville

After spending more than twenty years in healthcare as a nurse, Rhonda Cammon decided to care for others in a different way, cocktails. She is now the mastermind behind her own company, Perfectly Cordial, that combines fresh squeezed juices, global spice blends, and pure cane sugar to make craft cocktail mixers. Cammon also co-founded Barseat, the only African American spirit education and consultant company in Nashville, and the CAMP Conference for mobile and off-premise bartenders. She’s on the road nonstop, and here’s what she listens to when she’s behind the wheel.

“Pearl Cadillac,” Gary Clark, Jr.

Ye,” Burna Boy

Afro beats get Cammon pumped up and excited, and Burna Boy is her “it” performer right now. “This is a grab your girls, hit the road, and move your booty in the seat type of song,” she says.

Starfish & Coffee,” Prince

This song takes Cammon back to when she was slinging coffee in her waitressing days.

First Began,” PJ Morton

Times Like These, Foo Fighters

A child of the ’90s, Cammon claims this as her theme song when on the road for business. “When I am on the last mile and can’t wait to get home, I play this to remind myself of the why I became an entrepreneur.”

Melissa Close-Hart

The Local Restaurant & CateringCharlottesville, Virginia

Melissa Close-Hart’s life has been a road trip itself. Since high school, she’s worked in the food industry and it has taken her from coast to coast. Today, she works alongside her husband and plans to reopen Junction in 2022—which closed due to the pandemic. Whether she’s driving to work, or far from it, here’s what’s bumping from her speakers.

Angel From Montgomery,” Tedeschi Trucks Band

Close-Hart was friends with band member Kofi Burbridge who passed in 2019. Hearing his cover brings back memories of him.

All Around the World,” Paul Simon

Rio,” Duran Duran

Call Me,” Debbie Harry

The likes of Joan Jett, Patti Smith, and Siouxsie Sioux showed Close-Hart that women don’t have to conform.

In Spite of Ourselves,” John Prine & Iris Dement

Jesse Griffiths

Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper ClubAustin

Jesse Griffiths is a hunter, fisherman, cook, and co-owner of Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club. His Respect for Texas’ game led to his opening of the restaurant. In 2012, Griffiths authored a James Beard award-nominated cookbook, Afield, alongside photographer Jody Horton. When on the road, he sticks to folk and acoustics to pass the time.

Jesse Griffiths

Wichita Lineman,” Glenn Campbell

The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot

The Bit,” Melvins

March of the Fire Ants, Mastodon

In the Hall of the Mountain King, Edvard Grieg

“The best song ever” should be played at full volume, says the chef.”

Griffin Bufkin

Southern Soul BarbequeSt. Simons Island, Georgia

Before Bufkin came to own Southern Soul Barbeque, he spent time running music venues as a booker—so he knows good music. When he hits the road, his playlist is loaded with soul reggae and rocksteady. Here’s a lil’ sample.

Griffin Bufkin

Pastel Sunrise,” Chicano Batman

Bufkin is drawn to the new school indie-soul. He calls this one relaxed funk—perfect for driving.

Be Thankful for What You’ve Got, William Devaughn

Pelota (Cut a Rug Mix), Khruangbin & Quantic

I Can’t Help Myself, Four Tops

Bufkin says it best: This song is just a “stone-cold classic.”

Uptown Top Ranking,” Althea and Donna

The vibes get Bufkin every time. The duo’s mash-up makes for a sound like no other.

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