Given the fact the Ed Helms is starring in a re-imagination/reboot of National Lampoon’s Vacation, the question for this week’s episode of Celebrity Playlist seemed obvious enough: what would be on the actor/musician’s ideal road-tripping playlist while on vacation?
What I did not take into account was Ed’s staggeringly impressive knowledge of all things bluegrass and folk music. The self-proclaimed “bluegrass nerd” and banjoist covered a crazy amount of music in a short amount of time, and I have been diving deep into many of the artists he mentioned during this episode. Ed and I cover everything from the Grateful Dead’s Reckoning to Steve Martin’s “Wally On The Run” to Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Sweet Amarillo”, and way, way more.
Something that occurred to me shortly after our conversation is the specific pang of non-specific nostalgia that can be associated with traveling down a seemingly infinite highway as rollicking banjos and guitars emanate from your sound system. Sure it is pastoral and pretty, but it just gives you a sense of all the trips and excursions that might have come before. Since Vacation is a movie so indebted to its forbears, I thought this was weirdly coincidental. You’ll have to excuse my philosophical rambling–this is what listening to Woody Guthrie does to me.
Ed Helms’ new film, Vacation, is in theaters now. For more playlists from friends of the Nerdist, be sure to peruse all our other episodes of Celebrity Playlist right here.