Monday, April 21, 2008

A free Steve Earle download

Singer-songwriter Steve Earle is best known among black folk for his rendition of “Way Down in the Hole” for Season 5 of “The Wire.”

I myself had never heard Earle’s music until 1999, when my man David Simon chose “South Nashville Blues” as the theme song for “The Corner.” (Re-recorded by Corey Harris and Henry Butler.)

Well, shame on me. Because Steve Earle is a major talent.

Last week I stumbled upon a documentary called “Heartworn Highways,” which was filmed in 1975. It features a very young Earle along with David Allan Coe, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and other country troubadours.

Click here to hear Steve Earle performing “The Mercenary Song.”

That track is available as a FREE MP3. Follow this link to the “Heartworn Highways” website, then look in the right-hand column under “FULL MP3S.”

A video clip of Earle’s performance is up on YouTube:


Rambler said...

Hate to say it, but I didn't care for his version of "Down in the Hole." It was easily the weakest of the five in my opinion.

That said, his character on the show was great.

JD Rhoades said...

I'm a huge Steve Earle fan (in fact, I named my first book after an Earle song), but I didn't care for his version of DITH either.

Glad you've found him. He is indeed a major talent.

domino87 said...

I actually liked his version of "Way Down" more so than the original version by Tom Waits. Though I'm sure not many people agree with me on that one.

Undercover Black Man said...

A lot of people never did like his version. It was a different groove for him, no doubt. But I always liked it, and never grew tired of it.

Russell said...

Big Steve Earle fan too but yes his version of WDITH was surpsingly dull and uninspired, particularly considering his great talent and his connection to the show.

Thanks for the clip though. Not sure I've ever seen footage of him so young! Hard to believe it's the same dude.

Bellingham View said...

UBM, love it that you're working your way through the white guys with guitars. First Dylan, that awesome (!) Petty mashup a couple days ago and now Earle. Zevon next? :)

Not sure if you ever heard Steve's (tongue-in-cheek) ode to Condoleeza Rice. Here's a live version:

A bit indelicate in his comments at the end, but funny song nonetheless.

Bobby P. ("condoleeza, won't you come out tonight!")

dez said...

Earle's version of DITH grew on me as the season progressed. My favorite version is still the first season, though.

("Condeleeza, jump a little higher!")

Undercover Black Man said...

Yo RP... I gave Warren Zevon some love back in January. Dylan's the one I've been ignoring.

I surprised you didn't nudge me towards Bruce!

dez said...

Nudge nudge nudge