Posts Tagged ‘Steve Earle’

There are songwriters and then there are storytellers, and Steve Earle is very much the latter. His songs, such as “The Devil’s Right Hand,” “Copperhead Road” and “Guitar Town” have been sung by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and many, many more.

Steve Earle’s inspiration came from two main storytellers: Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. In 2009, Steve Earle made an album of Townes Van Zandt songs called Townes and now he’s paying tribute to his other hero, Guy Clark by releasing Guy. The album by Steve Earle & The Dukes covers 16 songs by the great Nashville-via-Houston artist and leans toward some of the earlier tunes. The song, “Dublin Blues” is about the day he left San Antonio, headed to Nashville, to meet his hero, Guy Clark (who was playing pool) and quickly became his bass player.

The first new song from the album, “Dublin Blues,” has the band playing with Steve Earle on this album is The Dukes: Kelley Looney on bass, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel guitar, Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle and mandolin, Chris Masterson on guitar and Brad Pemberton on drums. And the record wouldn’t be complete without a load of friends, including Rodney Crowell, Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Camp, Terry Allen and more.

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Hardly a stranger to addressing thorny political issues in a song, Steve Earle has tackled the Confederate flag controversy with the tune “Mississippi, It’s Time.”

Steve Earle’s song, released in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization for civil rights, calls for the removal of the Confederate flag likeness from the Mississippi state flag. The Magnolia State is currently the only state that retains the image of the “Stars and Bars,” the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, on its state flag.

“I grew up in the South and lived there until I was 50 and I know that I’m not the only Southerner who never believed for one second that the Confederate battle flag is symbolic of anything but racism in anything like a modern context,” Earle said. “This is about giving those Southerners a voice.”

The chorus to remove the likeness of the Confederate battle flag from any official government property has grown steadily since a gun massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, left nine African-American church worshippers dead. After the shootings, pictures surfaced of the assailant brandishing the Confederate flag as a symbol of white supremacy.

“We’re pleased that Steve Earle has added his voice to the growing number of Americans who are demanding that Mississippi and other governmental entities no longer display the Confederate flag,” Morris Dees, founder of the SPLC, said in a statement. “This potent and divisive symbol of white supremacy has no place on the official state flag of Mississippi or in any other public spaces

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What I appreciate about Steve Earle is that he writes about a side of humanity that I don’t live. He writes about irresponsibility, about separation by choice, about the rambles of a man who searches but never seems to find. Steve Earle’s tribulations are well known and rather unimportant to mention . With his many great albums behind him, it is important to remember Guitar Town, a terrific piece filled with a variety of styles and the kernal of all the things Earle still seems to represent.

Steve Earle seems to be always questioning why. and with Guitar Town, the questioning has never been more succinctly stated or as catchily written. Inspired by Earle’s attendence at a Bruce Springsteen concert, this singer/songwriter masterpiece lovingly exploits the conflict between the hero’s desire to stay in a small town and the need to leave. Set in 1980’s Reagan-era America and featuring Duane Eddy-style reverberated guitar lines blazing through dangerously infectious melodies, Guitar Town’s dusty, blue-collar vignettes relentlessly engage and tug at the heart strings, and Earle’s stark character development revives desperate (“Someday”) and exhuberantly hopeful (“Guitar Town”) emotions from the listener’s childhood. This ‘Dylanesque-country’ sound inadvertantly awakened a young, rock-loving, college-educated country audience yearning for the disappearing rock sounds of John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. Earle set the mark on the top rung for this type of new country, and with the public expecting only the best, Nashville delivered its finest and most daring projects of the post-Hank Williams era. Easily the most groundbreaking Nashville recording since Waylon Jennings’ “Honky Tonk Heroes” sessions, Guitar Town was named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Recordings of the 80’s and was praised in the rock press (Robert Cristgau’s “The Village Voice” and Dave Marsh’s “Rock and Roll Confidential”) long before receiving favorable country reviews. Guitar Town continues to exert a massive influence on songwriters 16 years after its release and is widely regarded as a cornerstone of the 1980’s “New Traditionalist” movement in Nashville. Steve Earle may never understand the full impact this recording will continue to have on future generations of songwriters. As his music continues to move towards exclusively political themes, it becomes clear he will not visit Americana territory again, but since he virtually defined the genre with this monolithic MCA debut, he can leave well enough (or, in this case, near perfect) alone.

 

Southern roots rocker Steve Earle debuted a brand-new song from his forthcoming album, take a listen to the bluesy ‘You’re the Best Lover That I Ever Had’ .Steve Earle has been recording his upcoming album, ‘Terraplane’ — which was released February 17th supported by his backing band, the Dukes, at the House of Blues in Nashville.

“Most of this was written on the road,” Earle said . “I went through a divorce and I needed the money, so I’ve been touring a lot, just working constantly and writing whenever I can.”
“Everything that happens to me will find its way into my lyrics, which can be an advantage as a writer and a disadvantage as a person,” he said of his songwriting process. “I don’t wanna hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m not trying to be mean. But I’m not gonna not write about what’s happening, so there’s a lot of sad stuff here. It was a good time to make a blues record.”

Earle and the Dukes have taken to recording the songs live after an hour or two of practicing, giving Earle a kind of laissez-faire attitude toward recording.

“Let’s just find a performance where all the weird s–t happens at the right place, and that’s our take,” he said.

Steve Earle and company seem to effortlessly find that sweet spot, which can be heard on the new track

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“Terraplane” takes its title from the 1930s Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit model, which also inspired the Robert Johnson song, “Terraplane Blues.” It is Steve Earle’s 16th studio album since the release of his highly influential 1986 debut Guitar Town. As its title suggests, the album is very much a blues record, some of which was written while Earle toured Europe alone for five weeks with just a guitar, a mandolin and a backpack. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a DVD that features a behind-the-scenes mini documentary, an interview, three live acoustic performances and more.

Terraplane CD/CD+DVD/LP+MP3 (New West Records)

Justin Townes Earle played a couple of songs from ‘Single Mothers’ Album for Rhapsody .Justin Townes Earle  is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Earle recently signed with Vagrant Records and has released five albums with Bloodshot Records since 2007. He released the album Single Mothers in September 2014 on Vagrant records with a follow up album named Absent Fathers released in January 2015. He is also the son of prolific alternative country artist Steve Earle, and is named after Townes Van Zandt. 

Steve Earle performing the song “Rex’s Blues” written by Townes Van Zandt from Ft. Worth Blues live at Factory Theatre in Sydney on 8 April 2012

Steve Earle from 1996 British TV show “Big Mouth” and a cover of the song “Johnny Too Bad” originally recorded by The Slickers which centred on Derrick Crooks, who had been one of the founding members of The Pioneers along with his brother Sydney. In the mid-1960s, The Slickers consisted of the Crooks brothers and Winston Bailey. Derrick was the only constant member, with Abraham Green joining the Crooks brothers at the time “Johnny Too Bad” was recorded. The Slickers have often been wrongly assumed to simply be an alias for The Pioneers due to their similar vocal stylings.  The Slickers toured the United Kingdom and United States on the back of the success of “Johnny Too Bad”, and continued until 1979, when they recorded the Breakthrough album, before splitting up.

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Americana singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle is back with a new album, Single Mothers, on a new label, Vagrant Records.
Justin is the son of the artist Steve Earle, but lived with his mother, Carol Ann Hunter, from the age of 2 onward. We’ll talk about Single Mothers, about his struggles with sobriety, and about why he keeps himself so busy. Justin Townes Earle performs “My Baby Drives” for a World Cafe Session with host, David Dye. Recorded at WXPN in Philadelphia on 9/11/14.