Thursday, October 14, 2010

Country Music Month: The Texas Connection - Steve Earle

The story of Steve Earle is one of "what could have been". Here's a guy with so much talent to offer as a singer and a songwriter. Unfortunately, Earle also had an affinity for drugs and what could have been, never was. Very sad.

During my radio days, I remember playing a new song and I said to myself, "This guy is the next great Outlaw of Country Music". That song was Guitar Town. Whoa! "I love to hear the steel belts hummin' on the asphalt' and "a two pack habit and a motel tan". To a guy like me who spent most of my adult life single and ready to hit the road at a moment's notice, this song was written for me. I was a Steve Earle fan, hook, line and sinker. He released a few more songs (I'll get to those in a minute) that kicked ass and then POOF!, he was nowhere to found, except jail. I don't want to get into Earle's drug and legal problems, so if you want to learn a bit more about him wikipedia has more. One thing, however, I would like to say at this point is Steve appeared on the HBO show The Wire in which he was an addict addressing a 12 Step program, "I pawned my bike, my pickup truck, a National Steel guitar, a stamp collection that my grandpa left me; lost a good wife, a bad girlfriend, and the respect of anyone who ever lent me money." Autobiographical perhaps?

These are a few songs that made Steve Earle a star and the tunes that "could have been" the foundation of a brilliant and prosperous career for the man who grew up in Schertz, Texas.

Steve Earle was a rare talent who succumbed to the demon of addiction and a prime example of "what could have been".

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker