Earle gets bluesy
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
– Steve Earle & The Dukes will release "Terraplane" on Feb. 17 via New West Records.
The blues-based, 11-track set is the follow up to the 2013 album "The Low Highway" and features Earle's longtime band The Dukes, comprised of Kelly Looney, Will Rigby, Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. The album, Earle's 16th, was produced by R.S. Field (Buddy Guy, John Mayall), engineered by Earle's longtime production partner Ray Kennedy and recorded at House of Blues Studio D in Nashville.
"Terraplane" will be available as a single compact disc, deluxe CD/DVD, digitally, as well as 180g vinyl. The deluxe version of the album will include 24-bit high-res audio of the album as well as a long-form interview between Earle and journalist Mark Jacobson, three live, acoustic songs filmed on the porch of House of Blues Studio D and a behind-the-scenes short film about the making of the album.
"Terraplane" takes its title from the 1930s Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit model, which also inspired the Robert Johnson song "Terraplane Blues."
Earle wrote a third of the album, while he toured Europe alone for five weeks with just a guitar, a mandolin and a backpack. Earle, who was raised outside of San Antonio before migrating to Houston, said of Texas blues, "There was Fort Worth where the model was Freddy King, and there was the Houston scene, which was dominated by Lightnin' Hopkins. Two very different styles." He saw both of these giants, and was also exposed to Johnny Winter, Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Billy Gibbons, all of which make their influence heard here.
Earle states in the Terraplane album liner notes, "...the blues are anything but superficial. In fact, they run so deep and dark and close to the bone that folks walk around everyday with the blues as though it were perfectly natural for a human being to go on living with a broken heart (apologies to Tony Kushner)." He continues, "For my part, I've only ever believed two things about the blues: one, that they are very democratic, the commonest of human experience, perhaps the only thing that we all truly share and two, that one day, when it was time, I would make this record."
Songs on the CD are:
1. Baby Baby Baby (Baby)
2. You're The Best Lover That I Ever Had
3. The Tennessee Kid
4. Ain't Nobody's Daddy Now
5. Better Off Alone
6. The Usual Time
7. Go Go Boots Are Back
8. Acquainted With The Wind
9. Baby's Just As Mean As Me
10. Gamblin' Blues
11. King Of The Blues
Earle will play a four-show residency at City Winery in New York on Jan. 5, 12, 19 and 26.
He will return for his second year of Camp Copperhead. The four-day-long immersion songwriting camp led by Earle, debuted last summer in upstate New York will be July 20-24.
Earle also will publish his memoir, "I Can't Remember If We Said Goodbye" (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group) next year.
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If Steve Earle had never done another album after "Guitar Town" and "Copperhead Road," he'd still have cemented his place in the musical firmament for skillfully creating a ragged and beautiful tapestry from the stray threads of rootsy rock and authentic country. And that may well be why his catalog over the past three decades has been so compelling and satisfying; he has consistently proven that he has nothing to prove.
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In the Instagram era where people use apps to turn digital snapshots into sepia-toned portraits, Steve Earle's 16th studio release finds its place with an old-school sound. It's a Polaroid of rural country, blues and bluegrass frozen in time. But instead of outdated, it plays on the nostalgia of its modern audience.
Named for the 1930s Hudson muscle car model, "Terraplane," the cover is a cacophony of vintage graphics hinting to the fun times that lie beneath. »»»
The Warner Bros Years
On the surface, this five-disc box set appears to be another egregious exercise in major label money-grubbing, a study on how to squeeze every last penny out of those precious (and paid-for) catalogs. After all, what self-respecting fan of Steve Earle doesn't own "Train A' Comin'," "I Feel Alright" and "El Corazon" in at least four or five formats (including the hard-to-find mini-disc version)?
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When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
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