‘Van Life’ the Music Video: Even Cowboys Get the Blues

Anyone who’s ever lived the nomad life knows things can get a little gnarly out on the open road. Watch this guitar-pickin’ van lifer spin road malaise into country gold.

Willi Carlisle hails from northwest Arkansas, which would be reason for most GearJunkie readers to expect a story about him to entail mountain biking, rock climbing, or some other adventure sport.

But Carlisle’s a country singer, and this video’s style concerns itself more with the way a lot of us get between one escapade and the next: van life.

It’s pretty clear he’s accustomed to life in his ‘01 Dodge Ram, which he bought along with “2 pints of whiskey and a 30 of Hamm’s.” Now, peeing in bottles and eating from cans is part of Carlisle’s rollicking lifestyle.

“Van Life” plays out over a soundtrack of liquid lap steel and shuffling snare brushes, often hilariously. Dense, relatable lyrics keep the action fresh — and undoubtedly cringe-inducing, for any of us who’ve been there. See for yourself.

Runtime: 5 minutes

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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