One of the most celebrated singer/songwriters of his generation, Steve Earle first won an audience as a country artist, though it didn't take long for him to demonstrate that designation was too narrow to embody all he had to say. Earle's songs and his approach to performing them run the gamut from…
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Steve Earle channels his Texas Blues roots with his latest album, Terraplane — named for the noted song by Robert Johnson, but known to me in the well-circulated Canned Heat live tapes. Referencing everyone from Lightning Hopkins to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Earle interviews himself, but does not get caught up in his script. He deftly name drops his own stint in jail, averting some questions by glossing over them and moving on so quickly that the pace is disrupted when going back to pick up dropped threads of thought. Earle respects those with whom he works, highlighting Chris Masterson’s (previously featured here) role in developing this blues trail during sound checks.