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    Steve Earle

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    Genre:Alternative, Rock, Country
    Rank:4961 history »
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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Promise You Anything lyrics
    2No. 29 lyrics
    3Someday lyrics
    4Everyone's In Love With You lyrics
    5The Graveyard Shift lyrics
    6Dixieland lyrics
    7Tecumseh Valley lyrics
    8Billy Austin lyrics
    9Angel Is The Devil lyrics
    Steve Earle feat. Supersuckers
    10You Know the Rest lyrics
    The Fairfield Four feat. Steve Earle

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Train A Comin' [1995]
    2I Feel Alright [1996]
    3Introduction To [2000]
    4The Low Highway
    5El Corazon [1997]
    6Shut Up & Die Like An Aviator [1991]
    Copperhead Road [1999]
    8Essential Steve Earle [1993]
    9The Mountain [1999]
    10Trancendental Blues [2000]


    At the start of his career as an opening act for both George Jones and the Replacements, and through his songs - which incorporate the populism of Hank Williams and Bruce Springsteen - Steve Earle bridged country and rock. In the late '80s and through the mid-'90s, however, Earle's personal problems - including his addiction to heroin - temporarily sidetracked what had been a promising career.

    Son of an air traffic controller, Earle was raised in South Texas, where he spent a rebellious adolescence as a long-haired Vietnam War opponent with country music sympathies. Leaving home at 16, he married at 19 the first of his five wives, and moved, nearly penniless, to Nashville. Befriending such older proponents of country's "outlaw" movement as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, he wrote songs for Johnny Lee and Patty Loveless and almost managed to place one of his songs on an Elvis Presley album. At age 31 Earle released his critically acclaimed debut, Guitar Town. With his backup band the Dukes recalling the twangy style of Duane Eddy, he assailed Reaganomics and championed society's outsiders, appearing at Farm Aid II and allying himself with Fearless Hearts, a relief group for homeless children. Exit O was also well received; Copperhead Road scored #56 on the pop chart, but that year Earle, as a result of an altercation with a Dallas security guard, was fined $500 and given a one-year unsupervised probation. The tougher guitar sound and darker lyrics of The Hard Way reflected his legal problems; again critics lauded his work, but it fared considerably less well than its predecessor.

    In late 1993, after a long hiatus from the studio, Earle began recording demos for a new album, but without a record contract at the time, he showed little sign of soon reclaiming his earlier success. In 1994 Earle was arrested in Nashville for possession of narcotics and sentenced to almost a year in jail. After his release, Earle released the acoustic Train a Comin' on the Nashville indie label Winter Harvest. Boasting such guest vocalists as Emmylou Harris and Nanci Griffith and stalwart picking from Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, and Roy Huskey Jr., the album included covers of songs by Van Zandt, the Beatles, and the reggae harmony group the Melodians.

    Train a Comin' garnered great reviews and sold well for an indie, but it was with the swaggering I Feel Alright that Earle returned with a vengeance. "Because I've been to hell and now I'm back again," he snarled on the title track, a hard-won manifesto. The album, his first of entirely new material in five years, found Earle facing and besting his demons. It also launched the E-Squared record label, an imprint that Earle operates with partner Jack Emerson, and marked the debut of the Twangtrust, the production team of Earle and Ray Kennedy whose credits include albums by Lucinda Williams, Cheri Knight, and Marah.

    In 1996 Earle contributed a song about the human and social costs of the death penalty, "Ellis Unit One," to the movie Dead Man Walking. He has since emerged as a major voice in the campaign to abolish capital punishment. In 1997 Earle released El Corazón, a critically acclaimed album encompassing country, blues, folk, and rock. One of the record's tracks also featured a collaboration with the bluegrass group the Del McCoury Band, presaging Earle's headlong foray (with the McCourys) into the idiom, The Mountain (1999). In 2000 Earle released Transcendental Blues and in 2001 published a volume of short stories, Doghouse Roses. Jerusalem (2002) revealed Earle's conflicted feelings about America's response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. Those opinions seem to solidify on the deliberately titled The Revolution Start Now, which was released in tandem with the 2004 U.S. presidential election and received a Grammy in 2005 for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

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