Terraplane is Steve Earle's 16th studio album and it is his bluesiest yet. It was recorded in studio with his band, The Dukes, which consists of Kelly Looney, Will Rigby, Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. It was produced by R.S. Field and engineered by Ray Kennedy, whom Earle has worked with for years. So the album brings together Steve Earle's A-team and it really shows. Every track on the 11 song collection is definitely a blues song, but there's an incredible variety of style and tone throughout the CD. The press materials for this album offer some insights from Steve Earle about his blues influences:
"Earle, who was raised outside of San Antonio before migrating to Houston, offers about Texas blues, “There was Fort Worth where the model was Freddy King, and there was the Houston scene which was dominated by Lightnin’ Hopkins. Two very different styles.” He saw both of these giants, and was also exposed to Johnny Winter, Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Billy Gibbons, all of which make their influence heard here within Earle’s masterful storytelling."
I'm not enough of a musicologist to say, this song can be traced to Lightnin' Hopkins and that song can be traced to Freddy King. But what I will say is that every song has this trademark Steve Early lyrics, detailed, specific, and yet borderline visionary in what they conjure up. It's only January, but I'd say this album is going to make a lot of Best Of lists this year.
I'm adding "You're The Best Lover That I Ever Had," "The Tennessee Kid," "Ain't Nobody's Daddy Now," "The Usual Time," and "Baby's Just As Mean As Me" to rotation.
- "Your The Best Lover That I Ever Had" is featured on Americana Music Show #230.
- "Baby's Just As Mean As Me" is featured on Americana Music Show #231.
- "Ain't Nobody's Daddy Now" is featured on Americana Music Show #232.
- "The Usual Time" is featured on Americana Music Show #233.
- "The Tennessee Kid" is featured on Americana Music Show #239.
Preview Terraplane by Steve Earle & The Dukes on Amazon.