Great New Album from Steve Earle – So You Wannabe an Outlaw

“There’s nothing ‘retro’ about this record,” Earle says. “I’m just acknowledging where I’m coming from.” So You Wannabe an Outlaw is the first recording he has made in Austin, TX. Earle has lived in New York City for the past decade. “Look, I’m always gonna be a Texan, no matter what I do,” he says. “And I’m always going to be somebody who learned their craft in Nashville. It’s who I am.”
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For me this is Steve Earle´s best album since Transcendental Blues (June 6, 2000). Backed by his band The Dukes (guitarist Chris Masterson, fiddle player Eleanor Whitmore, bassist Kelly Looney, and new members drummer Brad Pemberton and pedal steel player Ricky Ray Jackson) & recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin. Produced by Richard Bennett.

Steve Earle & The Dukes – So You Wannabe An Outlaw [Official Music Video]:

PHOTO: CHAD BATKA

Here Earle too benefits from a newfound brevity; nothing here breaks the four-minute mark making for a tight 12 tracks clocking in at just under 40 minutes. In this, So You Want to Be an Outlaw is a true album, each track flowing one to the next, aided by the overarching thematic outlaw country imagery recently resuscitated by the likes of Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. Indeed, now is the perfect time for artists like Earle and Nelson (who has also had a great year with God’s Problem Child, also a full-on return to outlaw country) to remind those newer to the music that there is a rich tradition well worth exploring.
-John Paul (popmatters.com)

Lookin’ For A Woman:




Earle doesn’t always sound as keenly inspired as he did when he was writing stuff like this in the ’80s and ’90s, but his craft is, if anything, better, and similarly his voice is showing its age but his phrasing is as smart and dramatically effective as it has ever been. So You Wannabe an Outlaw is something plenty of Steve Earle fans have been wanting for years, a no-excuses country album that updates his breakthrough work, and it’s an effort that should please his core audience while also sounding like an album Earle made entirely on his own terms.
-Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Fixin’ To Die:

The best song on the album is “Goodbye Michelangelo”. It feels closely related to one of his very best songs: “Fort Worth Blues” (a tribute to another late friend and mentor – Townes Van Zandt). A beautiful song, probably one of his 10 best songs ever.. AND the lyrics is just awesome!

The haunting “Goodbye Michelangelo” is the jewel. Written for his mentor Guy Clark, it celebrates the eternal circle of creation, life and death. Not only honoring the songwriting icon, Earle evokes “Oh, Susanna” in homage to Clark’s late wife and suggests this is merely another lesson. Crafted to last, “Michelangelo” embodies Clark’s aesthetics with dignity and a nod to our own mortality.
-Holly Gleason (pastemagazine.com)

Here is a live version from Golden Gate Park, SF:

Goodbye Michelangelo
Ain’t no trouble where you go
Ain’t no pain to burn you blind
Just enough to draw a line

Goodbye maestro, fare thee well
Gone to heaven, been to hell
Maybe just New Mexico
Goodbye Michelangelo

Spotify:

-Egil

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