Who sings the song Copperhead Road

Country & Co.

Measured against others, the artist's career of the singer-songwriter superficially resembles that of a late bloomer: As Steve Earle 1986 his debut album Guitar Town published, he was already past thirty. That Earle and his debut the genre classifications that were only later fully established Americana and Alternative country should play a major role in defining it, is undisputed. Since then, the liberal Texan has fostered the fusion of country and rock as well as traditional troubadour traditions, has worked as an actor and writer, and has won over to date grammyAwards in the segment BestContemporaryFolk/Americana at eye level with Bob Dylan.

Born on January 17, 1955 in Fort Monroe, Virginia and raised in the San Antonio, Texas area from the age of two, Earle found himself with the at the age of eleven Rolling Stones-Song "Mother’s Little Helper" to the guitar. Shaped by the '68 zeitgeist of the folk and hippie peace movement, Earle followed the anti-authoritarian and artistic path, dropped out of school at 16 and moved to Houston as a day laborer and musician. There he placed himself in the care of his idol and mentor, Townes Van Zandt. In 1974 Earle moved to Nashville, where he continued to write his own songs, but also got by with a casual job in the band of Guy Clark, another key figure that Bass served. His compositional skills should initially allow him to work as a songwriter (people like Johnny Lee or Carl Perkins set his songs to music) until he - signed a fresh record deal with MCA in my pocket - in 1986 finally with said first long player, Guitar Town, made his debut and was able to achieve a country rock success with it.

Steve Earle - "Guitar Town" (1986):

Two years later, Earle left it with the Vietnam War reflection Copperhead Road crash a little harder. So he introduced harsh guitar sounds and thundering drum sounds into the country and roots sector, the Irish folk invited himself The Pogues into the studio and sang along on the sacred "Nothing But a Child" Maria McKee. The album didn't just bring comparisons to Earle Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp but also opened the doors to a mainstream rock audience for him.

Steve Earle - "Copperhead Road" (1988):

Earle's drug addiction and the subsequent stay in rehab in the coming years were marked by his comeback album in 1996 Train a Comin ‘ which demonstrated a return to traditional country and folk sounds. Together with the Del McCoury Band In 1999 he went one step further in terms of root research and released the Bluegrass album The Mountain. As an avowed opponent of the death penalty, and with his openly left-wing liberal political sentiment, he never left the world order as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, providing Earle with a new comment field. His tenth studio album, released in 2002, Jerusalem, dealt explicitly with the post-9/11 issue, with the song "John Walker’s Blues" about the American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh in particular causing controversy and polarizing in the USA.

Steve Earle - "Jerusalem" (2002):

That being said, took place Steve Earles talent in music circles more attention than before. The albums The Revolution Starts Now (2004) and Washington Square Serenade (2007) finally brought the already multiple nominees one each grammy-Winner in the category of Best Contemporary Folk / Americana Album, his tribute album Townes (2009), in honor of the friend and teacher Townes Van Zandt, even gave him that grammy-Hat trick.

Steve Earle - "Pancho & Lefty" (2009):

After Earle had launched his acting career on the side and in the award-winning HBO-Series The Wire and Treme credibly embodied two characters - an ex-junkie and a street musician - he published a short story collection in 2011 and finally his novel debut I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (an album of the same name was released in the same year). Both secondary activities that, in his own estimation, have allowed him to mature as a storyteller. “Acting certainly did its part. It's now easier for me to slip into characters and roles when I perform a song, "Earle explained in an interview in 2013," Acting and writing prose have made me a better songwriter. "

For his sixteenth album, Terraplane, stylistically a tribute to the blues, Earle embarked in 2015 after his seventh divorce (his son Justin Townes Earle from the third marriage to Carol-Ann Hunter followed in the singer-songwriter footsteps of his father) also musically on typical separation terrain. Colvin & Earle (2016), a collaboration with the singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin however, with cover songs and their own material, they were completely in the folk and country tradition of (mixed) harmony singing.

With his current albumSo You Wanna Be An Outlaw(2017) returnedSteve Earle along withThe Dukes not only back to its roots, the title should also provoke younger artists who try their hand at the genre and deal with the myth of the outlaw.

So there is only one thing left at this point, namely to congratulate the 63-year-old birthday boy on an eventful and moving career that (hopefully) will last for a long time. Given the current political developments and sentiment in the US, one can be almost certain that Steve Earlethe stories don't run out and his critical voice gets louder again on future albums.

Hear some of the most important Steve Earle songs here, compiled by our author Frank Thießies: