Curtis Wayne Millard

Van Darien's 'American Steel' Playlist Features Songs For Those Who Built The World Around Us


When Van Darien penned her song "American Steel," with her father, a mechanic and a welder, and Joey Green, she was inspired by her dad's own story as well as the artists who've championed the men and women who built America.

"The world we know is run on American steel, You can find it lying rusted in the barns & fields," Van Darien sings on the track. "We were forged by American steel."

Today, Van Darien shares her curated playlist, which features Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Steeldrivers, Caleb Caudle, Alabama and more, with Wide Open Country readers.


"'American Steel' is a love letter to folks who work with their hands to build the world around us," Darien tells Wide Open Country. "The songs on this playlist are about these people, and the things they create that stand the test of time. A little bit of a lament for the way things used to be."

Van Darien's new album Levee is out now and available for purchase here.

Levee was produced by Steven Cooper and JD Tiner at East Nashville's Glass Onion Studio and features contributions from Brandy Zdan, Owen Beverly (Indianola), Thayer Serrano (MGMT, Drive-by Truckers), Mando Saenz and Joey Green. The album also includes two songs co-written with Maren Morris.

Tune into Wide Open Country's Ol' Country Living Room Show on Facebook tonight (Friday, April 10) at 8 p.m. CT to see Van Darien perform a virtual concert.


Listen to Van Darien's American Steel Playlist below.


'American Steel' Playlist:

  1. "Youngstown" (Bruce Springsteen)
  2. "We Can't Make it Here" (James McMurtry)
  3. "The Hardest Part" (Blondie)
  4. "Little Guys" (Slaid Cleaves)
  5. "Junk Town" (Ian Noe)
  6. "Iron Lion Zion" (Bob Marley & The Wailers)
  7. "The City of New Orleans" (Arlo Guthrie)
  8. "My City Was Gone" (Pretenders)
  9. "Sixteen Tons" (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
  10. "Peacemaker" (The Steeldrivers)
  11. "American Steel" (Van Darien)
  12. "John Henry" (Bruce Springsteen)
  13. "The Motor City is Burning" (John Lee Hooker)
  14. "Rosie the Riveter" (Four Vagabonds)
  15. "Steel Town" (Big Country)
  16. "Makin' Thunderbirds" (Bob Seger)
  17. "Forty Hour Week (For a Livin') (Alabama)'
  18. "Steel Monkey" (Jethro Tull)
  19. "Monte Carlo" (Caleb Caudle)

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