Audio file length: 01:42:05
Download includes 9 page PDF Roadsigns booklet.
A World Premiere play by Jeff Daniels with music by Jeff and Ben Daniels
“SOMETIMES, a work of art can have as many lives as your cat.
ROADSIGNS was a poem that became a song that became this play. The setting is an abstract assemblage of strangers on a bus headed from Missouri to Chicago in the early 1970s. The story is found in the mind of a young poet with his first guitar, running away from a disastrous upbringing, rolling up the interstate towards the rest of his life.
As a play, ROADSIGNS allowed me to do a couple things; honor Lanford Wilson, the author of the autobiographical poem, chronicling his heading north to become a graphic artist, only to take another bus to New York City to become a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. It also gave me a chance to write about all of the acoustic guitar slinging songwriters who are still out there, modern day Woody Guthries, writing songs like painters paint, sculptors sculpt, one of a kind American Artists who are more at home on the stage of a club, folk festival or house concert. At best, playing to a sold out crowd on a Saturday night, though more often than not, performing for half a dozen folks who stumbled into a hundred seater.
Premiering at the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan, on January 18, 2020, the play was a runaway hit. In early March, with a week to go before we closed our sold out run, I gathered the cast at 2188 Studio. With its ten songs written with my son, Ben, the original cast recorded the play from start to finish. Mixed and mastered like an album, I was proud of it and selfishly wanted all of us who were involved in that Purple Rose Production to be able to close our eyes and hear it forever.
With its exclusive release on my website, my hope is that you will enjoy listening to ROADSIGNS, THE PLAY as much as I enjoy performing the song. As much as Lanford enjoyed writing the poem.”
– JEFF DANIELS