Aside from rolling hills of southern Indiana, most of the state is flat as a pancake with fields that go on for miles and miles… There’s a lot of awesome adventures to be had in the Hoosier state, but you’ll need just the right playlist to get you in the mood as you drive through cornfields and windmill farms. Don’t worry, we have the ultimate Indiana road trip playlist all ready to go for you…
Any and All John Mellencamp Songs
You knew this was coming. He’s our Indiana hometown hero. Born and raised in Seymour, IN and still residing not far from there just outside Bloomington, Mellencamp’s biggest hits all revolve around his rambunctious teenage years in Indiana. We couldn’t resist putting at least a handful of his classics on here including Small Town, Jack & Diane, Pink Houses, and Cherry Bomb.
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
Gary, Indiana’s most famous citizen, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, has to be on your Indiana playlist. We have a couple of our favorite MJ songs on the playlist: PYT and The Way You Make Me Feel.
Goin’ Back to Indiana – Jackson 5
Not only is this song a tribute to the Jackson 5’s home state, the version on this playlist is performed back at their old school! That’s got sentimental Indiana road trip music written all over it.
By the way, you can stop by the Jackson’s Gary home. I have. It’s the cheesy photo op you hope it’d be…
Indiana – Jon McLaughlin
Known in the mid-2000s as Anderson University’s piano magician, Jon had a cult following around the state before finally breaking into the big time with several record deals since. While we still prefer his early, less produced stuff, we’re happy for Jon. His song Indiana might be the most perfect “driving through a cornfield while reflecting” song ever.
On the Road – Houndmouth
In full disclosure, we have a crush on the girl in Houndmouth. That being said, this New Albany, Indiana band’s music is road trippy as can be. Trust us, we blared them for days on a cross-country trip last year.
(Back Home Again In) Indiana – Straight No Chaser
The only reason we have this version of the song in here is because Jim Nabors’ versions aren’t on Spotify. As far as we’re concerned, Nabors is the best man to ever sing it. For that reason, here’s a video of his final performance at the Indianapolis 500…
No Rain – Blind Melon
One of the most legendary music videos of all time (people still dress like that bumblebee…), No Rain is the 1990s music era summed up in one funky song. Shannon Hoon, the band’s original frontman was actually from Lafayette, IN and was even friends with Axl Rose when they were going up.
Change the World – Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
Now known more for his producing and songwriting, Babyface was the rage in the 1990s and teamed up with Eric Clapton for this feel-good hit. He’s still spending time and money trying to make Indiana a better place, and the state responded by naming a highway in his honor.
Have a Little Faith in Me – John Hiatt
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Hiatt used music and IndyCar racing to escape a tragic home life. His hit Have a Little Faith in Me just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Let’s Hear it for the Boy – Deniece Williams
Yet another Gary sensation, Deniece Williams has quite possibly the most beloved song that no one attributes to her… For years I had it on my iTunes as “Footloose soundtrack.” Tragic. You deserve our respect Deniece… You had this hit and you sang backup for Stevie Wonder.
Indiana Sky – Josh Garrels
Garrels is well-known for pumping out great tunes that seem to inspire, and Indiana Sky is no different. Roll the windows down and take it all in with this song in the background.
November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
Both Axl Rose and legendary guitarist Izzy are Hoosiers. When the band was still relatively unknown, my dad went to a pool party they threw in Muncie, IN. True story. November Rain is the song we put on the list, but if you need something more upbeat, we also threw Sweet Child o’ Mine in there.
Indiana Wants Me – R. Dean Taylor
Ok, so this song is about a wanted man having to get away from Indiana, but we suppose it’s a good song on your way out of the state, right?
If I Can’t Live for Love – Modoc
Muncie, IN natives, Modoc left for Nashville several years ago and are on an up-and-comer trajectory, starting to open for some big name bands. Below is their “Runnin” official video…