Sunday, January 17, 2010

Steve Earle: The Last of the Hardcore Troubadours!

Born today in 1955, Steve Earle turns 55. "The last of the all-night do-right, Rosalita can you come out tonight? He's the last of the hardcore troubadours!"

In the world of Jeffy's musical wheelhouse, when folk, country, rock and roll first coagulated into what is called "outlaw country", "" or whatever label you want to put on it, the songwriters that converged around the Nashville side of things fronted by the likes of Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell and John Hiatt...there was "The Kid". How's THAT for a run-on sentence?

The youngest of this crowd, and the last to receive his own recording contract, Steve has gone on to be one of the most eclectic and prolific singer-songwriters of any genre out there.

Steve Earle had a real deep dark run in with addiction and at one point we lost him. He disappeared for a few years, vanishing into the shadows of South Nashville, where he nearly lost his life to some serious drug usage. Then he got found and went to live in "The Grey Bar Hotel" for about 5 years or so. Steve lost a big part of his life that decade. And we lost the artistry that he could have given us.

Ever since he made it back though, he's been one creative sum bitch.

I don't claim to understand anything about what he went through. What I DO understand is, I'm glad he came out the other side.

And I'm glad that when he did, he decided that writing songs and singing them to us was important.

All I can say about any of it is to share some of his songs here and wish him a happy birthday.
Here we go.

First off...the ubiquitous "hit" song..."Copperhead Road":

One of his newer songs..."City of Immigrants":

Written after returning to his hometown one time. When no one remembered him except the cops. "Hometown Blues":

Here's a song I featured on this blog once before in my Woody Guthrie post...but I never get tired of it. A song about heroes. "Christmastime in Washington":

I'll leave you with one more, then you can go find your own favorites. A song written after the death of another of his heroes, Townes Van Zandt. They really should have closed down all those honky tonks that they only knew. "Fort Worth Blues":

Thanks Steve for always challenging the listener. I look forward to lots more challenges from you!

No comments:

Search This Blog