Steve Earle may very well be the closest living thing we have to Johnny Cash. Yes. I just said that.
I remember having Steve Earle‘s Guitar Town around the house as a kid. I’m sure I listened to it. I’m sure I liked it (since I don’t really recall listening to my parents’ music and hating any of it). When you’re six, it’s tough to make heads or tails of music. Then, all of a sudden, you’re listening to your own music with no regard to whatever it was you actually liked before you knew any better.
Well at some point . . . probably in some Beatles’ phase that everyone goes through . . . I realized there was more from my childhood that was probably worth revisiting. Oh, indeed. Turns out there was a lot. I’m sure I’ll mention most of it in the future (whattup, Dire Straits? /winks,nods), but I quickly recognized and remembered Steve Earle and Guitar Town.
Earle has gone on to do a TON of other things since this 1986 release . . . made some other great albums (hi, Copperhead Road and Washington Square Serenade), become addicted to heroin, recovered, wrote and even acted. Loved, loved, loved him as Walon in The Wire. He portrayed a recovering drug addict working as a sponsor / mentor for another character (he might have had some insight there). All told, he has “Rennaisance Man” in spades and can f’n write, play and sing.
Whether you’re into country rock bluesy incredible-ness, we don’t know. What you should know is that if you find yourself in a conversation where those thingamajigs are being discussed, you could always drop “Guitar Town.” You might just end the discussion. Here’s a young, denim-clad Steve Earle + the title track.