During the Great American Truck Show (GATS) I was able to get a few minutes of Lindsay Lawler’s time. GATS 2014 was a busy time for those of us who were attending. Lindsay was no exception. She performed 2 concerts, one on Friday, and another on Saturday, at the HTAA (Healthy Trucking Association of America) stage of the Truckers Rolling Against Hepatitis-C Health Pavilion. After a meet and greet with her fans on Friday. I was able to get a few minutes of her time for an interview. Then she was off to view the show, and get ready to judge the Truckers Talent Contest that evening. (Note that some of this information for this article was taken from a previous conversation from the Rolling Strong Health Health Conference call (episode 38).
Road Tested Living:
Lindsay thank you for your time.
How did you get involved with the trucking industry?
My father has been in the trucking industry for years, so I have a good idea of what is involved to be a driver. I truly appreciate all the work that they do ,and what they have to give up on the road to keep America Moving. Four Years ago Bill Gordon from the HTAA agreed to let me play, and do a mini-concert over by their booth. While at GATS I came to the attention of the Truck Load Carriers Association (TCA), and learned more about their Highway Angel project.
I felt this project deserved a song, an anthem. My co-writer Chris Roberts and I asked them about writing one. At first they were reluctant as they felt it could be either, too depressing, or cheesey. We convinced them to let us try. The song Highway Angel was the result. It is truly an anthem that represents all those drivers who risk their lives to help those in need, and ask for nothing in return. Both Chris and myself are very pleased by how this song has turned out as well as the positive reaction from it.
You are very active in your support for truck drivers. What are some of the things your currently involved in?
I am an ambassador for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Highway Angel Program. It recognizes drivers who go out of their way to help those in need. Often at risk to their own safety. It can be as simple as changing a tire for a stranded motorist along a busy roadway, to rescuing someone trapped in a burning vehicle. I am proud to be one of the voices calling recognition to these drivers.
Just a few days ago a driver who stopped to rescue a driver from a burning vehicle made the news. They are many stories of drivers doing positive things. It truly upsets me to see the media focusing only on the negative and ignoring the positive news about the trucking industry.
In addition during 2014 we did a truck stop music tour. Many drivers spend so much time on the road they are unable to get to concerts, and have a semblance of a normal life. In recognition of this we felt we should do out best to bring the concerts to them. The concerts are free to drivers and we held them in the parking lots of TA/Petro. This was a grass roots effort to bring the message to the public about the positive side of trucking, and America’s professional drivers. We are using music to connect, and to get the word out to the public, on the positive side of trucking.
I want to use my music to bring the outside world and the trucking industry together. My music combined with the Highway Angel program is one of the ways this can be done. We are hoping to reach out to other forms of media to get them involved in promoting all the good things truckers do. One of the people I would love to see get involved with this is Ellen DeGeneres. She has a love for human interest stories and this seems like a good fit.
Drivers due to their schedule, as while as parking issues, can find it hard to attend a concert. In addition add in the costs for tickets. This for many drivers places the cost of a concert out of reach. We felt that by bringing the concerts to the driver it was a way to recognize what they do for America. Many drivers are on the road for long periods of time. They are away from their families and activities most take for granted. It is my hope that these concerts give them a sense of normalcy and know they are appreciated.
Even more importantly with these concerts it allows us to connect drivers and the public. Most drivers and those in the industry are hard working people who deserve respect. These concerts, and the music help the general public to connect with the average driver.
We are working on doing more tour stops for 2015. It is my hope to keep on building this project. To bring in other musicians, and activities. To make this a festival circuit that honors the work drivers do and helps to build those connections between drivers and the public.
I am guessing that as a musician you find it important to stay healthy on the road. What are some of the ways that you do this?
On the road I really do find that it is a challenge to stay healthy. At the end of a long day of traveling or performing the last thing I want to do is to go and exercise. It is nice to see truck stops adding fitness facilities for drivers. Yet I can see why many choose not to use them. After a long day of work your tired. All you want to do is grab a meal and go to bed.
Also at the end of a long day I like many others have a tendency to not want to eat the healthiest of things. I want what I want. Many times it is that cheeseburger, and fries. The thing that I have learned is moderation. As hard as it may be eating only half of that cheeseburger. Then share it with a friend or eat the rest later. You can also add something healthy to the meal maybe a side salad, or some fruit. The key is don’t deny yourself what your wanting/craving, but learn to moderate it. Something else that I do that is very effective for me is I have friends and family members that hold me accountable. They help to remind me and keep me focused on what I should do.
Lindsay thank you so much for your time in closing what is a life lesson that you have learned from the road that you would like to share?
Life on the road can be hard, very hard. You need to focus on being healthy. Have a plan for how you intend to stay healthy for the day. For me I have lists. Reminders to get up at the same time, eat breakfast, and so on. A list of the basic things that seems so common sense like what time to get up, reminders to eat your vegges, or do an activity. This may seem overly basic but it helps me keep my day organized and on track, and flow more smoothly.
The key to all of this is to put yourself first. When you take time to put yourself first and be sure your happy and healthy everything else will fall into place.
My thanks to Lindsay for her time and support of Road Tested Living. She is currently finishing up her latest album Two Peaches Six Cookies. To find out more about her projects for 2015, as well as the latest information on her new album and for pre-ordering information. Go to www.LindsayLawler.com You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Not only is she a talented musician and song writer, she also makes a mean taco soup. She just shared this recipe on Facebook and graciously allowed me to share it here.
Lindsay Lawler’s Taco Soup Peeps!:
Brown 2 lbs of ground beef (or turkey) with 1 medium size white onion (chopped).
Season it with salt, pepper and Mexican seasonings (garlic powder coriander and cumin, ground chili pepper optional *from Tom).
Drain the grease and throw it all in a crock pot (can also continue in a large pot on the stove).
Add two cans of light pinto beans, 1 can of chili beans, 1 can of mexican style stewed tomatoes, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can rotel tomatoes with chilis, 1 can kernel corn (with juice drained), 1 can diced chilis, 1 package of taco seasoning, 1 package of ranch dressing mix.
Cook all day on low or on high until it’s warm enough to serve.
For added calories…serve with sour cream (it’s good with the chive sour cream), grated cheese and….FRITOS! Super simple and super cozy
To make this on the truck you can brown your meat in an electric skillet, or the Road Pro Lunch Box Stove or equivalent, or even in a rice cooker. You can then cook it in any of those devices, or put it in a crock pot. If all you have is a crock pot you can just dump in all your ingredients and allow it too cook that way. The meat texture, and flavor will be a bit different but it will work. Also if you cook it entirely in a crock pot, use very lean ground beef or turkey to cut down on the grease.