Tag: steve earl

MUSIC REVIEW | Towns Van Zandt – Delta Momma Blues (1971)

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Towns Van Zandt is a name I’ve known for a long time. And he has a reputation as a country / folk pioneer that makes me know I should have listened to him long before now. And this week, I finally got the inspiration to do something about it. Listening to Chris Shifflett’s awesome podcast, Walking the Floor, I heard an interview with Steve Earl. In said interview, Earl talked briefly about his friendship with Van Zandt and his tragic demise. In an interview full of amazing stories, this one stood out the most. Which made me finally listen to Towns Van Zandt and Delta Momma Blues.

Earl also talked a lot about the obstacles people like he and Van Zandt faced in the 60s and 70s. Mainly, the rock world thought they were too country and old fashioned, while the country world of Nashville thought they were too long haired, rock and roll and modern. Listening to Delta Momma Blues’ opening pair of FFV and the title track, it sounds pretty bloody traditional and country to my 2016 ears. Acoustic guitar, bass lines that could be played on a moonshine jug, with fiddle flourishes for colour. As much as I like these songs and this sound, it’s hard to think of a time when it was considered too modern. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Various Artists – Songs for Slim: Rockin Here Tonight (2013)

Throughout the 80s, The Replacements were one of the bands most responsible for what would become known as alternative music.  They took elements of punk, rock, folk and anything else that tickled their fancy, and made something exciting and raw, that still had its basis in melody and solid song writing.  They broke up in 1991and went their separate ways.  But a few years ago, when original guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke, the band got back together to record an EP, raising money to help cover Dunlap’s medical bills.  That five track EP turned into a series of vinyl singles, recorded by dozens of other bands and performers.  Dozens of tributes collected as Songs for Slim: Rockin Here Tonight.

As much as I know I should, I haven’t listened to nearly enough of The Replacements to be familiar with all of this track listing.  And I’m nowhere near cool enough to recognise all of the names of the people and bands who contributed to it.  But the the Replacements’ songs I do know, and the people and band names I do recognise, are more than enough to make pretty sure I’m in for something good with this compilation. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Justin Townes Earle – The Good Life (2008)

When I wrote about Steve Earle’s 1984 album Guitar Town, I said, “It’s that feeling of earned realness that I am becoming more and more aware of in the country music I like. I think it’s because it gives me a vicarious feeling of being one of this down south, good ol’ boy shit kickers.”

Now, his son, Justin Townes Earle might have been raised in luxury bought by Steve’s success.  Justin Townes Earle may have been an innocent victim of his father’s excesses.  I have no idea.  But I do know that the opening notes of The Good Life have the feeling of earned realness. (more…)