Lilly Hiatt ‘Walking Proof’ was written late at night at the end of a tour. It reflects on the price that is paid by musicians due to the distance from friends and family as she reaches out to offer support to a friend. The pain of distance and the desire to call someone just to hear a familiar voice when you are out on the road reminded me of the classic ‘Driving Wheel’, originally written by David Wiffen but probably better know for its cover version ‘Lost My Drivin’ Wheel’ by Tom Rush which was released in 1970, a year before appearing on the eponymous ‘David Wiffen’. It was then released in 1973 by Roger McGuinn of Byrds fame and subsequently by many other artists over the intervening years in a wide range of styles.
I first heard it covered by the Cowboy Junkies on ‘200 More Miles Live Performances 1985-1994’ where the world-weariness of the song fits so comfortably with Margo Timmins vocal and the characteristic pace of the band.