Steve Earle: So You Wannabe An Outlaw – Lachrymose veteran as good as ever

Tue, Jun 13, 2017, 20:30


So You Wannabe An Outlaw

Steve Earle

Warner Bros


This man is the Duracell bunny of roots music. Country, folk, blues, rock ’n’ roll, just plug him in and away he goes. Since his seventh marriage, to singer Allison Moorer, went the way of the rest in 2015 the 62-year-old Texan has released three albums including this latest, a potent mix of the personal and the political.

His last solo album Terraplane focused on the blues; this collection, dedicated to Waylon Jennings, reverts to his love of outlaw country. Yet there is a persistent sense of loneliness in tracks such as the duet with Miranda Lambert, This Is How It Ends, or the full-on lachrymose You Broke My Heart and News From Colorado.

The title track, all snarling guitars and weary wisdom, kicks off proceedings while the equally muscular Fixin’ To Die and If Mama Coulda Seen Me support his stand against the death penalty. Impressive as ever.