October 7: Steve Earle released El Corazon in 1997

el corazon

This album sort of wrote itself.  It was bigger than me and faster than me and so it took me awhile to get a handle on what it was about.  Basically, it comes down to stuff I care about.  That’s where the title comes from.

I always like to perform solo before I make a record.  It gives me the chance to try out new material on audiences.
– Steve Earle (steveearle.net)

…the album kicks off with a tremendous one-two punch, the rousing acoustic ballad “Christmas in Washington” and “Taneytown,” a harrowing story of race and violence backed with gale-force electric guitars. El Corazón is also a good bit more eclectic than much of Earle’s previous work, dipping into bluegrass (“You Know the Rest,” featuring backing from the Del McCoury Band), old-school country (“The Other Side of Town”), hard rock (“N.Y.C.,” co-starring the Supersuckers, and “Here I Am”), and vintage R&B (“Telephone Road”).

As its title suggests, El Corazón often deals with matters of the heart

– Mark Deming (allmusic)

Great album, one of Earle’s best!
It’s a mix of country, folk, rock, soul, pain, redemption and politics. What a magnificent brew it is ! Truly remarkable.

Taneytown (live, Sidney, 2013):

“This song, which is graced with Emmylou Harris singing backup, is told from the point of view of a 22 year old retarded black man.  I also wrote it in the form of a short story that will be in my book.  Taneytown is a real place – you can see it on maps of The Battle Of Gettysburg – but it (the story) could reallytake place anywhere racism exists.  I took a risk writing the story and a risk doing this song and I don’t claim to have it well…. But just taking the chance made it worthwhile for me.”
– Steve Earle

 

Fort Worth Blues:

“I wrote this song for very personal and specific reasons that I won’t go into except to say that when Townes Van Zandt died I lost a friend I’d had since I was 17 years old.  I still have a hard time imagining the rest of my life without Townes.”
– Steve Earle

Steve Earle – El Corazón at Spotify:

– Hallgeir

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