Steve Earle ~ Ben McCulloch

28 11 2008

banjofor several weeks now i have been mixing a musical at the theatre – You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – which is both a lot of fun and, as always happens when i mix a show like this 8 or 9 times a week, a daily infusion of songs stuck in my head. the mitigating factor has been my iPod which i have lately been using not for beats and bleeps but for songs with words in them in order to have something different – and far less showtuney – in mind. so i will probably be sharing some of the favourites with you in the coming weeks, and frankly, in my library, a lot of this thing is somewhat dated, but worth revisiting anyway, and ranking must-have if you are unfamiliar. to wit:

as a brilliant musician and inspired storyteller, Steve Earle is certainly on par with the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, though he arguably hasn’t garnered the popular respect they’ve found. no doubt that he has earned it, and i suppose he holds instead a dedicated following of strong pride and quiet faith. if you haven’t listened to anything Earle since, say, Copperhead Road, or his version of the Waits tune/The Wire title track, Way Down In The Hole, then you are sorely missing out. and though he has many more recent releases, the present track is from 1997’s Train A Comin’ which has always been a very favourite of mine. it’s a record that strikes emotions and stomps your feet too.

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