"Transcendental Blues" by Steve Earle (2000)
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Transcendental Blues couldn't be a more apt title for a Steve Earle record. From Guitar Town to hell and back, through six marriages and a stint in the big house--Earle is perhaps the world's foremost authority on the blues (the emotional kind). It may be a high price to pay, but it is a price that has bought him greatness. For the past 15 years the troubled troubadour has been the best thing about country music--period.
A true transcender and a huge thorn in the side of Nashville--Steve's always been too Country for Rock, too Rock for Country and too beloved to be stopped. He is a great songwriter and performer in the same vein as Dylan or Lennon, Tom Petty or Neil Young--it's just good stuff, regardless what you decide to call it.
With the possible exception of Train A' Comin I think this latest offering is his best yet. TB is big armful of Steve at his best--hummable melodies and sing-along choruses--lonesome highways, love lost, catch me when I fall's, broken hearts, joys and regrets and a glimpse of hope at the end of it all.
Joining Steve on "When I Fall" is his sister Stacey Earle--an accomplished artist in her own right. From good hard rockers, to bluegrass rambles, to quiet ballads--Steve exorcises his multitude of demons and with Transcendental Blues proves once again that he can still go for the heart and make you feel as if you've traveled every hard mile right by his side.
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