Music Review: So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, Steve Earle

By Tony Nielsen

Steve Earle is the man behind the classic Copperhead Row.
Steve Earle is the man behind the classic Copperhead Row.

Most music fans would relate to the instantly recognisable and evocative sound of Copperhead Road and probably associate it with Steve Earle.

It's nigh on 30 years since Earle's third album with what has become his most familiar song. In the interim Earle has become an icon of Americana and country-rock music, and also found the time to be married seven times, so never short of raw material for his music.

So you wanna be an outlaw kicks off with the title track and immediately we're in the groove of the Copperhead Road feel. It's comfortable and resonant with The Dukes providing the fiddle, pedal steel, accordion and mandolin backdrop to Steve Earle's unique sound.

Willie Nelson lends a hand on the title track, with Miranda Lambert sharing vocals on This is how it ends, which she and Earle co-wrote, and shared vocals too from Johnny Bush and Cody Braun on a couple of other songs, all of which were written or co-written by Steve Earle.

From the very start of this album we're in no doubt that we're in the presence of one of Americana's notable songwriters, singers and musicians.

He may be almost 20 albums into a career that's had its fair share of highs and lows, along with three Grammy Awards, but Steve Earle has never been one to compromise. Good news for core fans too, because the deluxe version of So you wanna be an outlaw delivers not just additional tracks but also a high quality DVD with a live version of the title.

Steve Earle, simply a class act, and another must-listen album.

So You Wanna Be An Outlaw
Steve Earle

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