[photogallerylink id=3859 align=left]Legendary folk musician, storyteller, and actor Steve Earle can add another title to his resume: author. I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive is Steve’s fourteenth album, but distinct from those prior as it preempts a novel of the same name due May 12th. Though it is unclear if both the novel and album are born from the same premise, the latter maintains a haunting, heartfelt narrative that casts the music with a story good enough to be its own.
Steve Earle‘s troubled narrative of his own life, overcoming a drug addiction and prison sentence, weighs heavy on his voice. ‘Waitin’ On The Sky’ sums it up with the line, “Looking back it must’ve been a miracle how / I ever grew up at all.” His coarse growls are the guiding voice of the record’s story, creating characters both despondent (‘God Is God’) and innocent (‘Little Emperor’), environments hallowed (‘This City’) and spoiled (‘Meet Me In The Alleyway’).
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive was produced by T Bone Burnett, and his trademark production flourishes sink the stripped folk and sunset bluegrass deeper into Steve’s ghost town. The record summons a solemnity both palpable and convincing, as rustic textures and forlorn melodies shutter secrets, memories, and a hard life lived behind “abandoned” signs and boarded doors. I don’t know whether the record title refers to the world we share or a personal hell, but from the sound of it, I don’t think Steve Earle begs the question: more often than not they are one in the same.
Make sure you go to Steve Earle‘s Facebook and ‘Like’ the page to grab a free download of ‘Waiting On The Sky’ (which you can stream below) and a free .pdf of the first chapter of I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive!
Steve Earle – “Waitin’ On The Sky” [DOWNLOAD]
1. Waitin’ On The Sky
2. Little Emperor
3. The Gulf of Mexico
4. Molly – O
5. God is God
6. Meet Me In The Alleyway
7. Every Part of Me
8. Lonely Are The Free
9. Heaven or Hell (with Allison Moorer)
10. I Am A Wanderer
11. This City