Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Journey to Guitar Town

I took a country music journey yesterday, listening to some 1940-50s Texas jukebox hits, including the great night-shift lament, "WARMED OVER COFFEE," released by the LONE STAR PLAYBOYS on Blue Bonnet records in 1954.
I also listened to some MERLE HAGGARD and concluded with one of the great debuts of the 1980s -- in any genre.

STEVE EARLE (pictured) released "GUITAR TOWN" in 1986 on MCA, after years of honing his songwriting in Nashville.

His outlaw stance, legal troubles and political leanings would eventually push Earle far outside country's mainstream. Here on his debut, Earle offers such a fresh take on a musical style that certainly needed rejuvenation (much like its status today).

The title track reached No. 7 on the country singles charts and its legacy continues -- I heard it on BBC Radio 2 the other morning.
"My Old Friend The Blues," "Someday" and "Fearless Heart" are other standouts, although, really, the 10 songs on the debut are all top-class.

I don't know quite what put me in the country mood yesterday, I'm just glad the mood eventually took me to Guitar Town.