Steve Earle & The Dukes – So You Wannabe An Outlaw
Format: CD / Label: Warner Bros
Releasedatum: 16 juni 2017

Interview Steve Earle

Tekst: Iain Patience

It would be hard to find anyone in the modern music world who knows more about living on the edge, being an outlaw while also always living the life, and mopping up media interest in his personal life and adventures than Texan county-rocker, singer-songwriter Steve Earle. Earle could have written the handbook, the guide, the template for life on the musical edge. Instead, he has delivered this latest album on Warner Bros, his twenty third release to date. When I mention this fact, he shrugs as if surprised to have delivered so many releases over the past forty or so years.

Backed as usual by the ever-flexible Dukes line-up (here strongly featuring guitarist Chris Masterson) Earle is paying homage to one of his own wild heroes, Waylon Jennings, and is always a guy prepared to take risks, to roil and rock while slipping evidently political and liberal thoughts and imagery into his powerful lyrics. Tracks feature his thoughts on the wasteful nature of state services protecting those wealthy-enough to live in evidently unsuitable plots where spreading, annual explosive fires demand huge protective resources to be employed, in Firebreak Line; and the plight of the underprivileged in downtown LA – on a track where he is joined by Johnt Chris involvement –  role.Jennings, me.grabbing and truly satisfying release from an acknowledny Bush with his inimitable Cash-like curve. The title track features the original I’m Still Standing Highwayman Willie Nelson in a support role. Politics and passion, introspection and involvement: with Earle, it has always been the way. A guy who openly wears his heart on his sleeve at times.

Other tracks include a brace written originally for the Nashville television series on commission, one of which, a rocking marvellously melodic offering, Looking For A Woman, is only now seeing the light of day. The closing track, Goodbye Michelangelo, is a simply picked, touching yet forceful acoustic number that clearly speaks volumes about his thoughts and sadness at the recent passing of one of his old Nashville music buddies, the late, great Guy Clark. The wonderful and clever use of color, pace and pitch here make this an ever-attention grabbing and truly satisfying release from an acknowledged master who on the evidence here remains firmly at the top of the game.

As usual, ‘So You Wannabe An Outlaw’ has Earle picking both electric and acoustic guitars, reaching and shimmering full of perfectly pitched melodic rhythm and lyrical strength and confidence. This could very easily prove to be Earle’s finest album, a true treasure.


Tracks:
01. So You Wannabe An Outlaw
02. Lookin’ For A Woman
03. The Firebreak Line
04. News from Colorado
05. If Mama Coulda Seen Me
06. Fixin’ To Die
07. This Is How It Ends
08. The Girl On The Mountain
09. You Broke My Heart
10. Walkin’ in LA
11. Sunset Highway
12. Goodbye Michelangelo
13. Ain’t No God In Mexico
14. Sister’s Coming Home / Down At The Corner Beer Joint
15. Local Memory
16. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way

Website: Steve Earle