Steve Earle (from the album Guitar Town 30th Anniversary Edition on MCA Nashville)
Many folks feel age when they see their friend’s children grown at rapid rates. Music marks chalk lines on the doorframe with album release dates. Steve Earle’s Guitar Town turns 30, the celebration marked by with a re-issue that includes previously unreleased concert catches of the tunes from the album and beyond. Country music had a longtime crush on rock’n’roll, keeping mixed relations between the genres closeted. Steve Earle kicked down the doors, presenting an equal love for rock’n’roll and Country without bringing any seams. Guitar Town spread Jersey shore sand in the South, from the mountains to the prairies. Steve Earle took the victim from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Southern Man and gave him a sly Country wisdom that showed a depth in his decisions and a strong back for his rebellion. The original album has become a greatest hits package in the rearview mirror, the tracks leading from their release into the fabric of a culture that learns way more from the music than from those old folks at home.
Steve Earle introduces “My Old Friend the Blues” as the show-and-tell of a particularly morose period. The live addition to the re-issue of a nineteen-song show recorded in Chicago, Illinois at the Park West in 1986, the same release year as Guitar Town. The recording hosts the tracks from Guitar Town, debuting the future with tunes “The Devil’s Right Hand” and vacation diaries with “The Week of Living Dangerously” as well as Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper”. When Steve Earle strums the opening to “Someday” the electric crackle is from the sparks of a musician on a meteoric ride that would begin a career. The remastered original uses the title track to once again introduce a character with a big heart that shines with the light of opportunity. “Someday” and “Hillbilly Highway” shine a light down the road, “Good Ol’ Boy Gettin’ Tough” fleshes a man of the south entering as an equal, and “Little Rock’n’Roller” waves to a child at home from the back of a tour bus