Steve Earle’s Iconic Guitar Town To Be Celebrated With 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Steve Earle's Guitar Town

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Earle’s iconic Guitar Town, MCA Nashville/UMe will release a deluxe edition of the album on CD and digital on October 14. The two-disc set will feature the classic album remastered from the original tapes by Robert Vosgien along with a previously unreleased 19-song live show recorded on the Guitar Town tour at the Park West in Chicago in 1986 and expanded liner notes. Pre-order and stream Guitar Town

The concert will also be available on its own as a double LP on 180-gram vinyl exclusively at UDiscover. A remastered vinyl edition of Guitar Town, cut for vinyl by Ron McMaster at Capitol Mastering and also remastered by Vosgien, was released in May along with Earle’s other MCA studio releases: Exit 0, Copperhead Road and The Hard Way.

Steve Earle’s status as a pioneer of the second wave Outlaw country movement and a founding father of alt.country and the resulting Americana movement didn’t come easy.

Songwriter sessions with Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark provided a wet stone where Earle sharpened his craft. Later he ended up in Nashville, playing bass in Guy Clark’s band and working at a publishing house as a staff songwriter with some mid-level chart success. Few imagined the long haired gruff San Antonian would release a watershed debut that shook up the typically staid Music Row machine and introduced the “great 80’scredibility scare” that included, among others Lyle Lovett and k.d. Lang.

Released on March 5. 1986, and produced by Emory Gordy, Jr. and Tony Brown  Guitar Town fused country heart and twang with hard-edged rock n’ roll and created something startling fresh and crakeling with rebellion.

Eventually though, the album, which was inspired by seeing Bruce Springsteen on his “Born To Run” tour, was discovered by rednecks, punks and headbangers alike. Like Willie and Waylon a generation before Earle brought together disparate music factions typically not used to occupying the same space in the record store. Drawn by the universal subjects of small-town aspirations, the demise of the American dream, hard living and songs about life on the road away from one’s family spoke to them. 

Guitar Town went on to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and garnered two GRAMMY® Award nominations for Earle – Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song for the album’s title track, which reached No. 7 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart. Earle, who several months before had been slogging away trying to get his break, received comparisons to such celebrated songwriters as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty and Tom Petty as the album became one of the most acclaimed of the ‘80s. It topped Rolling Stone’s Critic’s Poll for Country Album Of The Year and later was included in both the magazine’s 100 Best Albums Of The Eighties and their esteemed 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time lists. In their rave review, the Los Angeles Times hailed it as “one of the most endearing and exciting American debuts” in recent years, adding, “an album of this quality in a more mainstream country style would be hailed as the discovery of the year in country music.” The record, which also spawned the No. 8 Country Single, “Goodbye’s All We Got Left” as well as “Hillbilly Highway” and “Someday” is certified platinum in Canada and gold in the U.S.

Recorded at the Park West in Chicago in 1986 while on tour in support of Guitar Town, the live album is a new unearthed treasure that brims with the palpable energy and excitement that can only come from a band feeling on top of the world as its music connects with a fervent crowd. The high-quality sounding recording captures a watershed night as Earle realizes the dream he’s had since moving to Nashville at 19 has finally came true. Earle and his band – Bucky Baxter and Michael McAdam on guitars, Reno Kling on bass, Ken Moore on keyboards and Harry Stinson on drums – barrel through 19 songs including the entirety of Guitar Town, several tracks from the then-unreleased sophomore album, Exit 0, and a cover of Springsteen’s “State Trooper.” Nearly out of songs with an insatiable audience screaming for one more, Earle takes the stage for the third encore of the night with just an acoustic guitar for “No. 29.” As the crowd cheers wildly, Earle exclaims, “This has been the thrill of my life and that’s no shit.” It’s a poignant snapshot of an artist being genuinely overwhelmed that he had finally got what he was seeking, and just a sneak peek at what was to come.

STEVE EARLE – GUITAR TOWN 30TH ANNIVERSARY
DISC ONE – ORIGINAL ALBUM
1. Guitar Town
2. Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left
3. Hillbilly Highway
4. Good Ol’ Boy (Gettin’ Tough)
5. My Old Friend The Blues
6. Someday
7. Think It Over
8. Fearless Heart
9. Little Rock ‘N’ Roller
10. Down The Road
 
DISC TWO – LIVE AT PARK WEST, CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 15, 1986
1. Guitar Town
2. Sweet Little ‘66
3. Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left To Say
4. Hillbilly Highway
5. My Old Friend The Blues
6. Good Ol’ Boy (Getting’ Tough)
7. Someday
8. Think It Over
9. Little Rock ‘N’ Roller
10. State Trooper
11. The Week Of Living Dangerously
12. Angry Young Man
13. Nowhere Road
14. Fearless Heart
15. I Love You Too Much
16. San Antonio Girl
17. The Devil’s Right Hand
18. Down The Road
19. No. 29
 
STEVE EARLE – LIVE AT PARK WEST, CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 15, 1986
VINYL EDITION
 
SIDE A
1. Guitar Town
2. Sweet Little ‘66
3. Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left To Say
4. Hillbilly Highway
5. My Old Friend The Blues
 
SIDE B
6. Good Ol’ Boy (Getting’ Tough)
7. Someday
8. Think It Over
9. Little Rock ‘N’ Roller
 
SIDE C
10. State Trooper
11. The Week Of Living Dangerously
12. Angry Young Man
13. Nowhere Road
14. Fearless Heart
 
SIDE D
15. I Love You Too Much
16. San Antonio Girl
17. The Devil’s Right Hand
18. Down The Road
19. No. 29
 
STEVE EARLE ON TOUR
October 4 – Telluride, CO @ Sheridan Opera House #
October 6 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater #
October 8 – Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts %
October 9 – Lincoln, NE @ Rococo Theater %
October 11 – St. Louis, MO @ Sheldon Concert Hall %
October 12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater @
October 13 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theater @
October 14 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall @
October 16 – Boston, MA @ Berklee Performance Center @
October 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Merriam Theater @
October 21 – Washington, DC @ Lisner Auditorium @
November 2 – Calgary, AB @ Grey Eagle Resort & Casino ^
November 3 – Regina, SK @ Casino Regina-Show Lounge ^
November 4 – Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theatre ^
November 5 – Minneapolis, MN @ Pantages Theatre ^
November 7 – Cleveland, OH @ Music Box ^
November 8 – Ottawa, ON @ Bronson Center Theatre ^
November 10 – St. Johns, NL @ Holy Heart Theatre ^
November 11 – St. Johns, NL @ Holy Heart Theatre ^
November 13 – Halifax, NS @ Casino Nova Scotia ^
November 14 – Halifax, NS @ Casino Nova Scotia ^
November 16 – Kingston, ON @ The Ale House ^
November 17 – London, ON @ London Music Hall ^
November 18 – Niagara Falls, ON @ Scotia Bank Convention Center ^
December 2 – Annapolis, MD @ Maryland Hall For The Creative Arts ^
December 5 – New York, NY @ Town Hall – John Henry’s Friends Benefit w/ Graham Nash, Shawn Colvin, Matt Savage and Steve Earle & The Dukes performing Guitar Town

^ performing Guitar Town
# Steve Earle Solo Acoustic
% Lampedusa: Concerts For Refugees w/ Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Milk Carton Kids
@ Lampedusa: Concerts For Refugees w/ Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Milk Carton Kids and special guest Robert Plant

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