Come September 24, 2015, a friend of mine (Frank) and I plan to see Steve Earle and the Dukes in concert in Tarrytown, N.Y. Frank's excited to hear "The Revolution Starts Now," so in order to familiarize him with the Dukes blues style, I bought "Terraplane" on C.D. and will play it on the way to Tarrytown. Long time ago, I tuned into Steve on "Guitartown," and later I thoroughly enjoyed his "Ellis Unit One" on the terrific "Dead Man Walking" soundtrack. Except for songs "The Usual Time" and "Go Go boots are back, "there is little especially appealing to me on "Terraplane." For friend Frank's sake, I truly hope the Dukes can play a bluesy "The Revolution Starts Now" but since that radical (anti war?) song became a Chevy truck TV commercial, it might be best to let sleeping anti war dogs lie?
Finally, on "Terraplane" final song, born January 1955, Steve Earle (self admiringly?) sings, "Mama knew she'd just given birth to the King of the Blues." Although I sort of caught the clever nativity reference to Steve's line, and I do not want to hurt Mama Earle's joyous labor feelings, but Gregg Allman was born in an old Nashville hospital, December 8, 1947. Uh, by chance, was Steve born in the backseat of a Texas bus?
It's good, but as a serious fan who owns all of his previous work my question is this: If you are one of the greatest contemporary singer/songwriters in the Americana genre, why would you want to make a record with predictable, generic blues based roots- rock, that a million over people are doing? I like it well, but he's done better.
Not one of Earle's better recordings, it's OK, enjoyable. The band is good but conventional. The material doesn't seem too inspired.. On his best work his lyrics are intense, dramatic, and grab you right away. Didn't happen much here. Not a bad album, but warmed over early Stones type material rather than anything deeper.
I love Steve Earle's music...I have listened to him since the days of Copperhead Road and I Feel Alright (my favorite recording of his) but this release is lacking in key areas. The music is there but the clever smart lyrics that Steve is known for do not exist here. This record reminds me of something that was thrown together for fun and the experience of writing some blusier material. I really wanted to love this record...