Pulled from his MCA catalogue of recordings, The Definitive Collection covers the period Texas-raised Steve Earle was hitting life full on as he stirring up country music with his keen edged, sometimes rock inspired stance (plus political views). One of the big successes of the New Traditional country acts to find a home on MCA (Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith were the others), this after a brief spell on Epic, Earle has been as prolific in recent years as he was back then.
Guitar Town in 1986, like with Randy Travis’ debut album Storms Of Life it was to change his life for the better. As it catapulted Earle and his band, The Dukes to a wider audience. Not only in numbers but also of a diverse nature with albums Exit O, Copperhead Road, The Hard Way and a live album, Shut Up And Die Like An Aviator his last for the label. Which isn’t represented on the collection. Earle appealed to an abundance of people tied with older rock music. He had it made or so it seems. He wrote good (some of which were great) songs and already seen the likes of Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Janie Fricke cover them but on leaving MCA Steve slipped into a hole. One which he dug for himself as drug addiction took over, plus there was a little matter of his out-spoken belligerent attitude. Thankfully, he got over the drug problem (and survived, but only just) and his comeback in one of the best cases ever.
Crown Electric is the tenth studio album from Liverpool-born, Newcastle-based singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams, and her first solo record in almost four years. On first listening, you might think this record sits at the poppier end of folk music, and there’s no doubt that the overall sound and polished production add to that impression. But take the time to listen in a little more deeply and a whole other world is revealed, and it’s to be found in the lyrics. Musically, at a time when the world and her sister seem fixated on Americana, it’s a refreshing change to hear songs which aren’t reliant on that particular idiom for inspiration. Kathryn’s flair for picking up often small details from everyday life and turning them into compelling, often melancholic, musings on the human condition is one which few other songwriters have, and it’s that which sets this album apart from the crowd.
04. In a Room, In a Snowstorm
07. Forget It
08. Tire Swing
09. Take Care
10. Tire Swing, Cont.
26 year old Will Varley is an author, artist and performer full of piss and vinegar, occupied with the Occupy movement and involved in the DIY ethos of his label Smugglers Records. To promote his first album he didn’t play the usual circuit, instead he embarked on a 140 mile walking tour playing to anyone […]