Steve Earle and the Dukes: Terraplane (New West/Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

Steve Earle: The Tennessee Kid
Steve Earle and the Dukes: Terraplane (New West/Warners)

The only surprising thing about Earle making a blues album – given he's done rock, country, folk and bluegrass – is that it took him so long.

As a Texan where the tough electric players and Lightnin' Hopkins' backporch acoustic style came from, blues was certainly in his blood.

And these songs – many written while back-packing around Europe by himself, presumably after the break-up of his most recent marriage – are within the broad landscape of blues.

You could imagine ol' Lightnin' doing You're the Best Lover That I Ever Had (see clip below), and the brooding, raw electric Tennessee Kid here conjures up Dylan, Beat poets and the spook-spirit of Robert Johnson – who wrote Terraplane Blues – as Earle sings of one who makes a pact with the Devil.

It, the gritty King of the Blues and the bleak break-up song Better Off Alone, are the best among the 11 here.

But Baby Baby Baby, Ain't Nobody's Daddy Now and The Usual Time are little more than genre pieces riding familiar blues grooves.

So, a patchy collection exploring different styles of blues which will nonetheless appeal to Earle loyalists, but leave casual listeners indifferent.

For reviews of many earlier Steve Earle albums and interviews see here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now (Warners)

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now (Warners)

Thirty years into a career and with this, their 15th studio album, it seems a bit rich for REM bassist Mike Mills to say this one is somehow different with really beautiful slow songs, some nice... > Read more

Odawas: The Blue Depths (Rhythmethod)

Odawas: The Blue Depths (Rhythmethod)

Some albums are very hard to describe, this one by an ambient, slightly trippy duo from California isn't: imagine gentle Neil Young-folk coming at you from a distance but wrapped in a kind of warm... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE EMPIRE CITY; SONGS OF WELLINGTON by ANDREW LAKING and BOB KERR (VUP book/CD)

THE EMPIRE CITY; SONGS OF WELLINGTON by ANDREW LAKING and BOB KERR (VUP book/CD)

With historic photos, and subtle, evocative paintings by Bob Kerr (perhaps most fondly remembered for his terrific Terry and the Gunrunners comic book series), this book/CD by writer and... > Read more

Bon Jovi: Having a bar of it

Bon Jovi: Having a bar of it

My knowledge of Bon Jovi has always been limited, and even more so back in the early Nineties when all I could conjure up for a pub quiz would have been "New Jersey, the cover of their... > Read more