The Brits are bonkers over Steve Earle, who headlined Brampton Live, north England’s biggest folk/roots music festival and and will release the The Dust Brothers’ John King produced Washington Square Serenade (New West) Sept. 25.
Just got back from seeing the family in Dallas for the 4th. While tooling around in Mom’s Merc I checked out the local flavor and tuned into Lone Star 92.5, the Clear Channel radio station I previously had posted on. Sure I could stream them online and enjoy the tunes here in Manhattan but it’s not the same as cruising around the rain soaked streets of my youth.
I one sitting I heard The Allman Brothers, Dylan, Reckless Kelly, Johnny Cash, The Drive By Truckers and Todd Snyder. This, in my mind, is heaven.
On the plane home we too AirTran Airlines. They are always good and, from my experience, mostly on time. Most importantly, the servers on board are always nice to my daughter and they get major points for that.
The airline offered XM Radio on board the plane and while my daughter was absorbed in Miyazaki’s superb animation feature Spirited Away, I checked out what XM had to offer. I stayed a while at “Willie’s Place” and was pleased to hear the old school outlaws represented – Merle, Ray, Leftie – legends you don’t hear enough of on commercial radio. I then headed over to X (cross) Country and it sweetened the deal with John Prine, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle. I was sold. When I get out of the city and buy and truck the very next day I’m getting XM Radio. But when I drive it through Dallas, it’ll take a back seat the Lone Star 92.5.
Rock and country singer/songwriter Steve Earle has readied his New West Records debut, Washington Square Serenade, for its September 25 release date. Produced by the Dust Brothers’ John King, the 12th studio album for Earle features his cover of Tom
Waits’ “Way Down In The Hole,” a track that doubles as the theme song for HBO series The Wire, on which Earle guests. And speaking of guests, singer/songwriter Allison Moorer, Earle’s seventh wife to date, makes an appearance on second-to-last track “Days Aren’t
Long Enough” while Brazilian fusion sixtet Forro In The Dark modernize “City Of Immigrants.” Unfortunately, the two won’t be joining Earle for a handful of solo acoustic performances scheduled for the late summer and fall.
“I guess I felt like it was time to do something different,” Earle says from the set of The Wire. “As far as the actual recording process goes, I guess I did everything different—but then in the end…it still comes down to the songs.”
A true Dylan tribute, the album will also be made available in deluxe edition form with a bonus DVD that includes a tour of New York City’s Greenwich Village with Earle as the guide.
Tracklist For Washington Square Serenade:
01. Tennessee Blues
02. Down Here Below
03. Satellite Radio
04. City Of Immigrants
05. Sparkle And Shine
06. Come Home To Me
07. Jericho Road
08. Oxycontin Blues
09. Red Is The Color
10. Steve’s Hammer (For Pete)
11. Days Aren’t Long Enough
12. Way Down In The Hole
Tour Dates For Steve Earle:
07/20 – Dolgellau, Wales – Sesiwnfawr Folk Festival
07/22 – Brampton, England – William Howard Centre
07/27 – Cambridge, England – Cherry Hinton Hall
07/28 – Westmeath, Ireland – Midland Music Festival
09/02 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival At Seattle Center
09/15 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits At Zilker Park
From Harp.com – SIRIUS satellite radio has just announced that country-rock legend Steve Earle will host a weekly show on the Outlaw Country station, channel 63.
The Steve Earle Show: Hard Core Troubadour Radio will be a one hour program featuring Earle’s personal music selections as well as on-air interviews with special guests. In more than thirty years of music-making, Earle has been nominated 11 times for a Grammy award, and has one win for The Revolution Starts Now in 2005. Earle has recently been in the studio recording his upcoming album on New West Records, with producer John King of The Dust Brothers, and also had a weekly show on Air America which he is leaving for his new gig at SIRIUS.
Outlaw Country was created by Little Steven Van Zandt and is home to the equally maverick likes of Shooter Jennings and Cowboy Jack Clement. Earle’s program will be broadcast Saturdays at 8pm ET and can also be heard Sundays at 1am and 9am and Monday nights at midnight.
I wonder if Sirius will give Earle the long leash that Air America did when he goes off on the powers that be. They will if they’re smart. Steve Earle’s politics are as much a part of what results in his extraordinary talent as his heroin use and obnoxious attitude. Let Earle be Earle. Let him rant and rave about the carpetbagger boy-king W and play some of the best music ever to travel the galaxy.
The New York Times has a nice piece on Ryan Adams, his ending contract and sometimes tumultuous relationship with Lost Highway records, getting back with his old manager, John Silva, and the road ahead. This article contains this great story when one outlaw of country meets another:
One afternoon, as Ryan Adams was recording his new album, “Easy Tiger” (Lost Highway), at Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village, the singer-songwriter Steve Earle dropped by to visit. Jimi Hendrix had built Electric Lady in the late 1960s, and Mr. Earle pointed out that “there are some good ghosts here.”
“Yeah,” Mr. Adams blithely responded. “There are the ghosts of about 45 speedballs from when I was recording here a year or two ago,” referring to a mixture of heroin and cocaine.
Like Earle, Adams is working on containing his demons and is producing some of the best work of his life. Horror-meister and former addict himself, Stephen King wrote the record company bio that will accompany Easy Tiger’s release on June 26. Mr. King calls it “maybe the best Ryan Adams CD ever.”
Has Clear Channel lost it’s little rigid, corporate mind?
The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram’s Cary Darling (great name!) has an interesting article on a local radio station with went from the old tried-and-true classic radio format to an alt-country mix, an example playlist contains the Drive-By Truckers, Johnny Cash and Robert Earl Keen, coupled with a low-key PBS style of corporate sponsorship instead of the hyper-audio-effects whiplash-inducing commercials that make most terrestrial radio hard to take seriously. Even thier web-site shows images of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Tom Petty. Nice!
XM and Sirius satellite radio and it’s more niche formatting (think radio in the 70s) has displayed enough relative success at pealing off listeners that Clear Channel is throwing the dice and taking some calculated chances. D.js. are seen as more than playlist parrots and more like the musical authorities with their own crates of vinyl they schlep to the station and with tales about the music and the artists.
I still think Clear Channel is an example of everything wrong with a corporate media giant, but I will take my hat off to them for treating listeners and the music with respect and not simply a spreadsheet list of product and consumer.
Lone Star 92.5’s Commercial Featuring Wille Nelson
the risk of being not only a Chet Flippo (CMTs Nashville Skyline) fanboy but one for Ms. “crazy chick” Miranda Lambert as well. Chet’s latest post (thanks 9513) on Miranda’s rise to stardom on her own terms and some of the cool things she’s done that lends her more cred than most of her other Music City counterparts:
She learned a valuable lesson in songwriting with her first album. The title song, “Kerosene” — which really put her on the musical map — sounded very much like Steve Earle’s “I Feel Alright.” Very much like it. After that was brought to her attention, she added Earle’s name as her co-writer on the copyright. And on the royalties. She told Barry Mazor in a No Depression interview, “I didn’t purposefully plagiarize his song — but unconsciously I copied it almost exactly. I guess I’d listened to it so much that I just kind of had it in there.” Well, hell, outlaws rip each other off now and then. But then they usually own up about it — as she did — very quickly.
Cool, no? How many other Nashville Star and CMT alum would go out of their way to credit Earle (and share royalties with him) rather than dispatch a labels lawyers to pay him off? Class act! Miranda is making me proud of Texas in a way that Willie and the Chicks did.
The New York Times has a cool write-up on Miranda Lambert. Lambert talks about the influences for her new album – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” – gives credit to Gretchen Wilson for opening the career door for her and is compared to some mighty company:
Ms. Lambert, 23, cites the usual outlaw influences — Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard — as well as the well-regarded singer-songwriters Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Jerry Jeff Walker and Guy Clark. In essence, Ms. Lambert is an alt-country singer operating covertly in the mainstream. “Dwight Yoakam, the Dixie Chicks — I think there’s a way to be really cool and mainstream, too,” she said.