October 7: Steve Earle released El Corazon in 1997

This album sort of wrote itself. It was bigger than me and faster than me and so it took me awhile to get a handle on what it was about. Basically, it comes down to stuff I care about. That’s where the title comes from.
-Steve Earle (steveearle.net)

.. the album kicks off with a tremendous one-two punch, the rousing acoustic ballad “Christmas in Washington” and “Taneytown,” a harrowing story of race and violence backed with gale-force electric guitars. El Corazón is also a good bit more eclectic than much of Earle’s previous work, dipping into bluegrass (“You Know the Rest,” featuring backing from the Del McCoury Band), old-school country (“The Other Side of Town”), hard rock (“N.Y.C.,” co-starring the Supersuckers, and “Here I Am”), and vintage R&B (“Telephone Road”). As its title suggests, El Corazón often deals with matters of the heart, expressed with particular eloquence on “Poison Lovers” and “If You Fall,” though the song’s most emotionally resonant moment comes with its closing song, “Ft. Worth Blues,” a moving farewell to Earle’s longtime friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt.
-Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Great album, one of Earle’s best!
It’s a mix of country, folk, rock, soul, pain, redemption and politics. What a magnificent brew it is ! Truly remarkable.

Taneytown (live, Sidney, 2013):

This song, which is graced with Emmylou Harris singing backup, is told from the point of view of a 22 year old retarded black man. I also wrote it in the form of a short story that will be in my book. Taneytown is a real place – you can see it on maps of The Battle Of Gettysburg – but it (the story) could reallytake place anywhere racism exists. I took a risk writing the story and a risk doing this song and I don’t claim to have it well…. But just taking the chance made it worthwhile for me.
-Steve Earle (steveearle.net)

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March 5: Steve Earle released I Feel Alright in 1996

“With his new album, I Feel Alright, Texas-raised Earle turns a middle finger to Nashville and screams, ”Chuck it, I’m rockin’ out!” And that he does.”
– Alanna Nash (Entertainment Weekly)

“…like Train a Comin’, I Feel Alright shows Earle finding the courage and confidence to make a record just the way he wants, and this may be Earle’s finest hour in the studio — the production is tough, resonant, and a perfect match for the material, the players bring their A game without showboating, and Earle’s rough but passionate vocals are pure, honest, and direct on every cut.”
– Mark Demming (Allmusic) Continue reading “March 5: Steve Earle released I Feel Alright in 1996”

March 5: Steve Earle released Guitar Town in 1986

steve earle guitar town

The first two things I wrote were Guitar Town and Down the Road, because I was looking for an opening and an ending.  So I wrote ’em like bookends, and then filled in the spaces in the middle.  And the album’s kind of about me.  It’s kind of personal.
~Steve Earle (to Alanna Nash – May 1986)

Guitar Town was his first shot at showing a major audience what he could do, and he hit a bull’s-eye — it’s perhaps the strongest and most confident debut album any country act released in the 1980s.
~Mark Deming (allmusic)

Guitar Town:

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January 17: Steve Earle was born in 1955

“In a perfect world, Steve Earle would run Nashville.”
– Todd Snider

“If I can get me out of the way, I can do anything”
– Steve Earle

“I don’t really think in terms of obstacles. My biggest obstacle is always myself.”
~Steve Earle

All we do as songwriters is rewrite the songs that have impressed us till we find our own voice. It’s part of learning the craft.
~Steve Earle

One of our  greatest musical heroes

Fort Worth Blues:

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Classic concert: Steve Earle To Hell and Back (1996)

Steve Earle beat the odds, and he knows it. “I was the ultimate functional heroin addict for a number of years,” he says, introducing himself to a MTV audience that might not be intimately familiar with his life story and ferocious brand of country-rock music. “I got clean because I got locked up. If that hadn’t happened, I would have died. I just made my first album straight this year.”

se hell

On June 25, 1996, as part of a court order, Steve Earle performed a live concert for prison inmates at Tennessee’s Cold Creek Correctional Facility where Earle was incarcerated in 1994. The concert entitled To Hell and Back aired on MTV on August 17, 1996. Steve reunited with his backing group the Dukes for the concert, and it was an incredible show.

Earle gives the performance of a lifetime  “This ain’t gonna be a beach party,” he says in front of an appreciative audience of convicts who had just endured two days in a prison-wide lockdown.
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July 30: Johnny Cash recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1955

Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash’s legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Wikipedia:

Single by Johnny Cash
B-side So Doggone Lonesome
Released December 15, 1955
April 1968 (re-recording)
Format 7″ single
Recorded July 30, 1955Sun StudioMemphis, Tennessee
Genre Rockabilly, country blues, rock and roll
Length 2:50
Label Sun
Songwriter Johnny Cash
Producer Sam Phillips

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