It has been a long time since Mr. Earle has played with The Dukes on record, and this time he has also included The Duchesses. It is sooo nice to hear him with a band again. We’re going to experience them live in a couple of months, things are looking bright!
The new album is fantastic (the songs I’ve heard).
I’ve searched the web for some live previews, they are not many and they’re hard to find. Here are 5 samples, most of them solo performances, but all of them are unbelievably good. This must be his best album in years, even if he has a very high standard.
Steve Earle got to play with the Allman Brothers, and what do the do? A song he said he always wanted to do with them, Copperhead Road plus a true classic done in a respectful way, Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Bruce Katz also sit in on keyboards.
This happened just a few weeks ago.Lucky are the people who had tickets for that show!
The sound is a bit “sharp” but this was just too good to miss.
The first two things I wrote were Guitar Town and Down the Road, because I was looking for an opening and an ending. So I wrote ‘em like bookends, and then filled in the spaces in the middle. And the album’s kind of about me. It’s kind of personal.
~Steve Earle (to Alanna Nash – May 1986)
Guitar Town was his first shot at showing a major audience what he could do, and he hit a bull’s-eye — it’s perhaps the strongest and most confident debut album any country act released in the 1980s.
~Mark Deming (allmusic)
March 5, 1986
Sound Stage Studio, Nashville, Tennessee
Country rock, Americana, Texas Country, heartland rock, rockabilly
Emory Gordy, Jr., Tony Brown
Associate Producer: Richard Bennett
Guitar Town is the debut album from singer-songwriter Steve Earle, released on March 5, 1986. It topped the Billboard country album charts, and the title song reached #7 on the country singles charts. Earle was also nominated for two 1987 Grammy Awards, Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song, for the title track.
Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left on Austin City Limits September 12 1986:
The album was recorded in late 1985 and early 1986 in Nashville, Tennessee, at Sound Stage Studio. Overdubs were later recorded at Nashville’s Emerald Studios. It was one of the first country music albums to be recorded digitally, utilizing the state-of-the-art Mitsubishi X-800. Each of the album’s ten tracks was either written or co-written by Earle.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 489 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2012, the album ranked at #482 on a revised list. In 2006, it ranked 27th on CMT’s 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music.
Someday (Live on New Music Awards 1986):
All songs written by Steve Earle unless otherwise noted
“This ain’t no part of no unplugged nothin — God, I hate MTV”
~Steve Earle (Liner notes)
I got to thinking,…if I don’t make this record now, I won’t get the chance to make it. .. I’m singing the best I’ve sung in years. Mainly [because of] no dope. Heroin relaxes your vocal cords, it lowers the top of your range a little bit, and then when you try to sing over it…
~Steve Earle (to SPIN in 1995)
I wish I’d never come back home
It don’t feel right since I’ve been grown
I can’t find any of my old friends hangin’ ’round
Won’t nothin’ bring you down like your hometown
Hometown Blues – From Later With Jools Holland 1995:
February 28, 1995
Folk, country, country rock, bluegrass
Train a Comin’ is an acoustic studio album by Steve Earle. The album, Earle’s first in five years, was released in 1995. In addition to Earle, it features Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, Roy Huskey, and Emmylou Harris. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
If you see her out tonight
And she tells you it’s just the lights
That bring her here and not her loneliness
That’s what she says but sometimes she forgets
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1. Visions Of Johanna
2. Like A Rolling Stone
3. Tangled Up in Blue
4. Ballad Of A Thin Man
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. Blind Willie McTell (electric version)
7. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
8. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
9. Desolation Row
10. Idiot Wind (New York version)