Album Review of

Label: New West

Genres: Country, Unknown, Blues

Styles: Americana Country, Unknown, Blues, Contemporary Blues

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Written by Duane Verh
February 14, 2015 - 12:00am EST
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The evidence of this very solid set strongly suggests that no matter where you drop Steve Earle, he remains Steve Earle.  As each track succeeds the previous one on this blues odyssey, Earle's distinctive persona grows more defined against his bluesy backdrop.  That said, the blues proves a most congenial and inspired-sounding setting and Earle’s work on harmonica and guitar exudes authority.  With its fat Sonny Boy Williamson-styled harp intro and drag-tempo shuffle beat, the leadoff track “Baby Baby Baby (Baby)” stands out, as do the mournful “Better Off Alone” and the haunting “The Tennessee Kid”.  Signature Earle vocal phrasing is found on the sassy rocker “Go Go Boots Are Back”. This set sets a high bar very early for this year’s “Best Of” lists.