The first two things I wrote were Guitar Town and Down the Road, because I was looking for an opening and an ending. So I wrote ’em like bookends, and then filled in the spaces in the middle. And the album’s kind of about me. It’s kind of personal.
~Steve Earle (to Alanna Nash – May 1986)
Guitar Town was his first shot at showing a major audience what he could do, and he hit a bull’s-eye — it’s perhaps the strongest and most confident debut album any country act released in the 1980s.
~Mark Deming (allmusic)
“This ain’t no part of no unplugged nothin — God, I hate MTV”
~Steve Earle (Liner notes)
I got to thinking,…if I don’t make this record now, I won’t get the chance to make it. .. I’m singing the best I’ve sung in years. Mainly [because of] no dope. Heroin relaxes your vocal cords, it lowers the top of your range a little bit, and then when you try to sing over it…
~Steve Earle (to SPIN in 1995)
I wish I’d never come back home
It don’t feel right since I’ve been grown
I can’t find any of my old friends hangin’ ’round
Won’t nothin’ bring you down like your hometown
Hometown Blues – From Later With Jools Holland 1995:
February 28, 1995
Folk, country, country rock, bluegrass
Train a Comin’ is an acoustic studio album by Steve Earle. The album, Earle’s first in five years, was released in 1995. In addition to Earle, it features Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, Roy Huskey, and Emmylou Harris. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
If you see her out tonight
And she tells you it’s just the lights
That bring her here and not her loneliness
That’s what she says but sometimes she forgets
In Moondance, Morrison bursts forth in warm Technicolor. The Van Morrison that the public would come to know and recognize over the decades—Van the Man, the Belfast Cowboy, etc—essentially makes his first appearance on Moondance.
This is Van Morrison’s 6th Symphony; like Beethoven’s equivalent, it’s fixated on the power of nature, but rather than merely sitting in awe, it finds spirituality and redemption in the most basic of things. The pinnacle of Van The Man’s career, and maybe, of non-American soul in general.
“…what truly makes this one of Earle’s best records is that he refuses to be pulled down by musical decisions. It’s as if he never faced a problem of whether or not to add this or that instrument, or to veer off in this or that direction. He simply had the idea and went with it.” – Ryan Kearny, Pitchfork
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (often shortened to Ziggy Stardust) is a 1972 concept album by English musician David Bowie, which is loosely based on a story of a fictional rock star named Ziggy Stardust. It peaked at No. 5 in the UK and No. 75 in the US on the Billboard Music Charts.
William Everett “Billy” Preston (September 2, 1946 – June 6, 2006) was an American musician whose work included R&B, rock, soul, funk and gospel. Preston became famous first as a session musician with artists including Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Beatles, and was later successful as a solo artist with hit pop singles including “Outa-Space”, its sequel, “Space Race”, “Will It Go Round in Circles” and “Nothing from Nothing”, and a string of albums and guest appearances with Eric Clapton, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. In addition, Preston was co-author, with The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, of “You Are So Beautiful,” recorded by Preston and later a #5 hit for Joe Cocker.
Levi Stubbles (June 6, 1936 – October 17, 2008), better known by the stage name Levi Stubbs, was an American baritone singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the Motown R&B group Four Tops. He was also a voice artist, portraying villainous characters in films and animated television series, most famously having provided the voice of the alien plant Audrey II in the musical horror film Little Shop of Horrors, and Mother Brain in Captain N: The Game Master.
Stanley Getz (February 2, 1927 – June 6, 1991) was an American jazz saxophone player. Getz was known as “The Sound” because of his warm, lyrical tone, his prime influence being the wispy, mellow timbre of his idol, Lester Young. Coming to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody Herman’s big band, Getz is described by critic Scott Yanow as “one of the all-time great tenor saxophonists”. Getz went on to perform in bebop, cool jazz and third stream, but is perhaps best known for popularizing bossa nova, as in the worldwide hit single “The Girl from Ipanema” (1964).