Steve Earle
Album: I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
Label: New West
Tracks: 11

This CD is Steve Earle's new and highly anticipated follow up to Townes (which had very mixed reviews) The eleven track CD was produced by legendary T Bone Burnett and is Earle s first collection of original material since his 2007 Grammy Award winning album, Washington Square Serenade.

I have to admit to having loved Copperhead Road since the days of CMT Europe and Rebel Country, but having never quite made up my mind what I thought of Steve Earle's music, generally, finding it just a little too rock oriented. That changed after the twice I have see Mr Earle play live and discovering what an amazing story he has to tell. Live, there is just something about him, his delivery and his music that you warm to instantly. Thus I was eagerly awaiting this collection and it did not disappoint. From the lead track Waitin' on the Sky, this CD draws you in with powerful lyrics, great vocals, and stunning musicianship. The Gulf of Mexico is a stirring performance are is Every Part of Me and Meet me in the Alleyway. For me, certainly, there are two stand out tracks; one is the stunning Heaven or Hell, a duet with his wife and singer songwriter Allison Moorer. The other is This City, the song Earle wrote for the HBO series Treme, with which he has been heavily involved. Having recently fulfilled a dream in seeing New Orleans, this song truly does capture the spirit of the city post Katrina.

Maybe Steve Earle is going back to his more country roots or maybe he is demonstrating the more mellow, Celtic influence of Allison Moorer's involvement with Celtic Connections (I am sure Mr Earle won't mind if I give mention to her stunning rendition of Carrickfergus, which in my view is as Transatlantic as it gets) Whatever it is, it works. It shows a softer, more content, more mellow Steve Earle, reminiscent of such beautiful material as My Old Friend the Blues, which showed a long time ago it was in him to create these beautiful ballads. I for one am glad he has finally explored that further and hope we see and hear more of this side of Steve Earle. Whether a long time fan, or new to This man's music, this really is a CD that everyone needs to own..a great chapter in his journey along that Copperhead Road!

Helen Mitchell