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Music duo’s album inspired by Route 66 December 3, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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The Nashville-based husband-and-wife music duo, Smoking Flowers, said their new album, “2 Guns,” was inspired by a Route 66 trip out west.

According to the South Bend Tribune‘s interview with Kim Collins:

“It was literally the first time we hit the dirt road, the old stagecoach-era part of Route 66,” she says about the photo by telephone from their home in East Nashville, Tenn. “We couldn’t believe the scene in front of us.”

With a view of the San Francisco Mountains ahead of them, the deserted road led to the ghost town of 2 Guns, Ariz., a one-time tourist trap that now consists of the ruins from the days before Interstate 40 bypassed its gas station, café and zoo.

Kim put her camera on the hood of their rented convertible, set the timer and ran into Scott’s waiting arms. The camera catches them kissing, with Kim’s long hair blowing back and her right leg kicked up, a spontaneous image from the open road, an evocation of American independence and adventure.

“We weren’t thinking about the image,” she says, “just the feeling. … That particular shot embodied the romanticism of not only that trip but for Scott and myself” as a couple.

To my trained eye, the album cover is on dirt-road Route 66 between Flagstaff and Williams in Arizona. So Kim’s recollection is about 30 miles off. Regardless, The Smoking Flowers released the album in August.

On the duo’s website, Kim also explained their strange experience at the ghost town of Two Guns itself:

“When we saw the ghost town of 2 Guns I had to stop to take photos and we ended up having quite a Quentin Tarantino-type experience! There was a man squatting in a Winnebago and a true hermit with a beard to his waist squatting in a nearby abandoned barn. They were the only two people in this ghost town. They told us stories of all the history of the land, how it had been cursed between the Navajos and the Apaches, involving lost gold. It made Tombstone look like Disneyland! We were invited inside the Winnebago to view a knife collection. That was a little scary, but ultimately they were beautiful characters, we actually didn’t want to leave.”

The album’s release was delayed about 18 months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The illness is in remission.

If you have a Spotify account, you can listen to “2 Guns” below, including the “66″ closing song:

(Hat tip: Scott Piotrowski)

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