“The city hasn’t changed as much as real estate agents would have you believe,” Steve Earle explains about his adopted hometown of New York City. “Specifically, my neighborhood hasn’t changed that much. I point people in the right direction so that they can take their picture like the cover of Freewheelin’ all the time.” — Steve Earle
Yes, Steve Earle and his wife (artist Allison Moorer) have made New York City their adopted home over the past two years, and much of Earle’s latest, and 12th, album, Washington Square Serenade, reflects the new environs.
The two most striking attributes to the new album are: 1) the beat-driven production of Dust Brother John King, and 2) the noticeable absence of the politically charged lyrics that defined his past two records. Personally, I give a thumbs up to both artistic choices, as King’s production gives the material a fresh coat of paint, and Earle’s politically-driven lyrics were, admittedly, not my favorite stuff, and never the reason I followed his career. For example, my favorite track off of Earle’s most politcal album to date, The Revolution Strarts…Now, was the tender and love lorn “I Thought You Should Know.” That, to me, is a captured moment of Steve Earle at his finest. See MP3 below.
Fans of HBO’s The Wire (arguably the best television drama going) know of Earle’s longtime connection to the show; portraying the recovering junkie Waylon. Here, Earle pays homage to the show’s theme song, Tom Wait’s “Way Down In The Hole.”
Previously: SXSW :: Steve Earle (Friday Night)