Published Jan 30, 2013In 2011, Steve Earle dropped his album I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive in addition to a novel of the same name. For his next release, he's teamed up with his backing and the Dukes (and Duchesses) for a new full-length called The Low Highway, due out April 16 on New West Records.
The album was co-produced by Earle himself along with Ray Kennedy (Emmylou Harris, John Mellancamp, Willie Nelson). It features Earle's live band, consisting of Chris Masterson, Eleanor Whitmore, Kelley Looney, Will Rigby and Allison Moorer.
A press release calls The Low Highway a "road record." Earle wrote in the liner notes, "I've been on every interstate highway in the lower forty-eight states by now and I never get tired of the view. I've seen a pretty good chunk of the world and my well-worn passport is one of my most prized possessions, but for me, there's still nothing like the first night of a North American tour; everybody, band and crew, crowded up in the front lounge, eating Nashville hot chicken and Betty Herbert's homemade pimento cheese, swapping the same tired old war stories half shouted over the rattle and hum of the highway. And I'm always the last one to holler good night to Charlie Quick, the driver, and climb in my bunk because to me it feels like Christmas Eve long ago when I still believed in Santa Claus. God I love this."
Three of the songs were originally written for the HBO drama Treme, which Earle had a recurring role in. The album cut "Calico County" is streaming at Rolling Stone.
Prior to the album release Earle will drop a limited edition 7-inch featuring the tracks "Burnin' It Down" and "That All You Got?" via his own E-Squared Records on February 19. Released in support of independent music stores, it will be issued on red vinyl in a signed, hand-numbered pressing of 1,000.
In other news, Earle recently signed a two-book deal with Twelve. First up will be a memoir concerning his musical relationship with Townes Van Zandt, his personal and legal struggles in Nashville, and his ultimate recovery. After that is a fictional novel about a runaway slave who survived the Battle of the Alamo.
The Low Highway:
1. The Low Highway
2. Calico County
3. Burnin' It Down
4. That All You Got?
5. Love's Gonna Blow My Way
6. After Mardi Gras
7. Pocket Full of Rain
9. Warren Hellman's Banjo
10. Down The Road Pt. II
11. 21st Century Blues
12. Remember Me