Monday, May 11, 2009
Review: Alt.country King Steve Earle's Tribute to Townes VanZandt
If you wince when you hear "country," well, so did I when I was your age. Then I started wondering why all these former punk rockers were recording country albums.Witness Jon Langford from the Mekons (one of the kings of alt- or insurgent country), John Doe of X, and Alejandro Escovedo of the True Believers. One could go on. Indie singer-songwriters also have either recorded country-tinged albums or songs on albums, and here I'm thinking of Conor Oberst and M. Ward, or more specifically Ward's collaboration with Zooey Deschanel as She and Him. We're not talking about saccharine pop country of Garth Brooks and all the other Nashville idiots, just as we don't shout hosannahs for mainstream pop, RnB or rap--at least not on this blog. If you've got a dark streak to you, a critical streak, an idea that things are not really alright out there, that life is f'in hard as much as fun and games, then if you don't know classic and alt.country, get thee to Johnny Cash (and end up, eventually, with some Steve Earle). See Below.