Each Train of Thought volume brings you spoken word creations, exceptional music, and extended excerpts from other podcasts we’ve found—and liked. The following liner notes tell you about the works and there’s more info under “contributors.” All selections are produced by Jeff Knowles unless otherwise noted.

Vol-5 Liner Notes


1. Car Bomb

That’s the trouble with owning a car—it’s just one thing after another. The Houston Post says reading Mark Leyner is like fishing in some hallucinated lake of the subconscious. Actor, Jessi Corti reads. Bobby Crew blows up the soundtrack.

2. Saint Aquinas in the Kitchen

Author Marianne Wiggins gives advice on how to handle the customer from hell in this saucy trip to your local roadside diner. Here’s a toast to you brave souls who, despite the plague, remain willing to tend bar, wait tables and barista

3. Burlington Northern, Southbound

He didn’t know how to talk to her, so he wrote her a poem in which he compared her to—a freight train, the Burlington Northern, Southbound out of Fort Collins. Let’s see how that worked out. Story by Bruce Holland Rogers, read by John Shea, and scored by Bobby Crew.

4. Paolo Conte

Big voice, sublime Mediterranean vibe, and perfect for your al fresco Spotify playlist. One critic said, “Don’t look for meaning in his compositions—they’re songs for the sake of songs!” This piece is called, “Alle Prese con una Verde Milonga“  ©2001 Paolo Conte. (used by permission) Click more for the Spotify link. Play the

5. Captain Blood

It’s always a wonderful moment preparing to board!… pistol in one hand, naked cutlass in another: So says Capt. Blood who despite his hideous reputation, is actually a regular sort of chap—the type who likes to whip up a festive Catalan dinner for the Crew after a satisfying raid. Written by the late, great Donald Barthleme, performed by Phillip Clarke, and produced by Jeff Knowles for Train of Thought.  From Overnight To Many Distant Cities, (©1986 Putnam Publishing Group.)  Go to Audible—for more Donald Barthleme short stories.      

6. Dome Epais

Dome Epais from Lakmé. The opera was first performed in Paris in 1883. 

Steve Croes

Steve has been a major player/arranger in NY and LA as well as a dean at Berklee College of Music. He’s worked with The Yellow Jackets, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Loggins and Fleetwood Mac. This volume borrows his track, Hunting, as well as —The Big Ending Piece of Music.

7. On Hope

ON HOPE is the simple title of a fascinating story written by Spencer Holst. It tells of a Gypsy animal trainer and a “demon monkey” who steals the Hope Diamond. Cedering Fox’s resonant voice takes you there. Author, Holst leaves you in dangerous waters, swimming with a very confused shark.

8. Take the Pink Bus

Take The Pink Bus features Rob Mounsey and hails from his album, “Dig.” Mounsey has arranged and played on tracks for Steely Dan, Paul Simon and James Taylor. Stream this

9. Travelogue

After World War One, some guys sat around a conference table and invented Yugoslavia. This sort of thing seldom ends well. In 1989 I took a wrong turn in Trieste and wound up on a tour from hell. Of course, I had no idea of what hell was. “This Train,” is played on an eleven-stringed Persian instrument called an “Oud.”

10. Blue

Planes disappearing, foreign wars raging, and the only fish biting were the sharks. When the visions commenced, followed by an elusive rain, the townsfolk ripped open their roofs and celebrated. Renowned Australian writer, David Brooks conjured this surrealistic tale. ©1992

11. Train of Thought – story

Get ready for a “clattering onslaught of thought…big overloaded boxcars of thought, thoughts linked together and barreling by—” Writer, Bernard Cooper is based in Hollywood. This piece first appeared in the ” Gettysburg Review ” for a special issue on trains and railroads. Maps to Anywhere, Bernard Cooper The essays in Maps to Anywhere plot terrain that is at once familiar and subtly strange. Writing on subjects ranging from his family to the origin of the barbershop pole, Bernard Cooper digs into the glimmering surface of the southern California landscape, observing the collision of the of the American Dream with the realities of everyday life. From the fragments, he discovers landmarks by which he attempts to make sense of contemporary America. BERNARD COOPER is the author of Guess Again, A Year of Rhymes, and Truth Serum. He has won numerous

Stories Mother Told

13. Stories Mother Told

Our podcast guest features folk tales which have had a major influence on African children. “Stories Mother Told” aims to bring them to a new generation of African youth—and to you, too. Today’s tale is from the Hausa Tribe in Nigeria. It is a story of hard work, kindness and selflessness. As Fourrell, the podcast’s talented narrator says, “Sit back, relax and enjoy.”

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