Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Apologies to Steve Earle

Last year, I wrote this about Steve Earle and his political speechifying from the concert stage. I argued that his song lyrics make his political statements more effectively than his sometimes irksome between-song commentary, which at a show I saw last year even included a reference to the Financial Times op-ed page (to be fair, apparently Bruce Springsteen has been making references to writs of habeas corpus on his current tour).

Anyway, I'm here to say, "sorry Steve."

I think Earle's new album, "Washington Square Serenade," is among his best work ever. It's like John Dos Passos set to music.

One of the songs, "Down Here Below," is a classic. And "Steve's Hammer (for Pete)" sounds as if it is a direct response to my complaints about Steve's political harping.

As long as he keeps making music like this, he can bitch all he wants from the concert stage and grow his Taliban beard as long as he wants, I'll be right there with him...

Here's Steve playing the fantastic opening track to the album, "Tennessee Blues":

And here's a short promo film in which he talks about making a record with ProTools, name-checks Lou Dobbs of all people, and plays a couple of incredible songs. His wife, Allison Moorer, is there, too, looking eerily like a young Holly Near.

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