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Revered country singer-songwriter Steve Earle has garnered a following for being an outspoken and rebellious music icon during his decades-long career; in an insightful article given to The Guardian in support of his new album, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, Earle lived up to his repuation when discussing his status as an outlaw country icon, sobriety and fatherhood.
After a wide-ranging discussion covering Earle’s lifelong battle with drug addiction, his seven marriages, as well as his move to acting, The Copperhead Road singer moved on to discuss his love of Premier League football which led to some candid musical critiques:
“I dislike Man City because it is Oasis’s club. Noel Gallagher is the most overrated songwriter in the whole history of pop music,” Earle stated. “They were perfect for the Brit press because they behaved badly and got all the attention. Blur were really great. That guy Damon Albarn is a real f–kin’ songwriter.”
After calmly picking sides on the infamous ‘Britpop Wars’, Earle also weighed in on the new wave of modern-country music which has swept the Nashville music scene; explaining his disdain for the genre, Earle stated that: “[modern-country musicians] just wanna sing about getting f–ked up. They’re just doing hip-hop for people who are afraid of black people. I like the new Kendrick Lamar record, so I’ll just listen to that.” As well as praising Kendrick Lamar, Earle went on to highlight the work of Grammy Award winning musician Chris Stapleton as an example of authentic and raw modern-country music.
Earle’s new album, a tribute to fellow country outlaw Waylon Jennings, is scheduled for release today by Warner Bros. Records. Speaking to New York Daily News, Earle discussed his musical and political inspiration for the project including his song Fixin’ to Die, which centres around his objections to the death penalty which is present in various US states.
Pre-orders of the album, featuring a track-by-track video commentary from Earle as well as a documentary of the making of the album, can be purchased here. The lead single from the project, Lookin’ for a Woman, can be viewed below:
In other news, Earle’s son Justin Townes Earle who himself is no stranger to controversy, has recently released his new album Kids in the Street on New West Records. Featuring production credits from Bright Eyes and M. Ward collaborator Mike Mogis, the album features rich Americana-infused singles which combine Earle’s stark and honest songwriting with nostalgic country instrumentation. The title track, Kids on the Street, can be viewed below: