Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Alive and well

Steve Earle - I'll Never Get Out Of This Alive

The art of platitude, twice: Steve Earle is a brilliant songwriter; every Steve Earle album is superb.

That nutshells the man and his latest album, released on 26th April. All I'll add is that his finest song to date is 'My Old Friend the Blues' from debut album Guitar Town, and on this latest T-Bone Burnett produced collection - Earle's first since his tribute to Townes Van Zandt - the ballad 'Every Part of Me' challenges in its beauty, both musically and lyrically. It declares a more positive force in life compared with the former where Lovers leave and friends let you down. In a hard life - heroin addiction, time in jail, married 7 times - to now write I love you with all my heart, all my soul, every part of me; it's all I can do to mark where you end and I start reflects that Earle has found a blessing when he didn't think this kind would ever find me.

Other wonderful tracks on this album are 'Lonely Are The Free', 'I Am A Wanderer', and 'Heaven and Hell', a duet with wife Allison Moorer who is the subject, presumably, of the most puissant line from 'Every Part of Me': I can't promise anything except my last breath will bear your name.

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