Steve Earle & The Dukes Are Back: “So You Wannabe An Outlaw”

Steve Earle & The Dukes will be releasing a new album, So You Wannabe An Outlaw. While I have enjoyed Earle’s recent forays into folk and blues, I am excited to hear that the album will be a return to a focus on his country sound. The album is a tribute to the 1970s Outlaw sound of singers like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.

Speaking of Willie Nelson, he also makes a guest appearance on the album, as do Miranda Lambert and Johnny Bush. So You Wannabe An Outlaw will hit stores and the Internet on June 16, 2017.

For a preview of Earle’s Outlaw tribute, you may hear one of the new tracks below. Check out “Lookin’ for a Woman.”

Another track from the new album is “Fixin’ to Die.” It has a harder edge with a rock sound.

Finally, here is a live performance of the title track, “So You Wannabe an Outlaw.” This performance is from a Town Hall performance in New York City in December 2016. Note that Earle jokes about having Willie Nelson singing on the song. He did get Nelson to sing on the album version of the song.

A deluxe version of the album will also include covers of songs by Nelson, Jennings, and Billy Joe Shaver. So keep your ear out for the upcoming June 16 release of So You Wannabe An Outlaw, and watch for Earle in the Dukes, who will be touring this summer.


What is your favorite Steve Earle song? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Willie Nelson Is “Still Not Dead”

    Willie Nelson celebrates his birthday with the release of a new album, God’s Problem Child.   One of the new tracks on the album is “Still Not Dead.”

    Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas on April 29, 1933 (although his birth certificate lists April 30 as his birth date).  Now in his 80’s, Nelson’s voice, phrasing, and guitar playing still combine for some wonderful songs.

    God’s Problem Child includes songs like “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” a tribute to Merle Haggard written by Gary Nicholson.  The first single, “Still Not Dead,” is a fun laugh at mortality by a man often rumored to be dead.  Below is the official video for “Still Not Dead.”

    The album is full of solid songs that sound like classic Willie. NPR describes the new album as Willie Nelson reflecting “on this season of his life with a mischievousness and equanimity that already feels familiar coming from him.” God’s Problem Child hits stores and the Internet on April 28, 2017.

    What is your favorite Willie Nelson song? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Willie Nelson Pays Tribute to the Gershwins

    Willie Nelson’s upcoming album pays homage to the songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin. Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin (2016) reminds us that Nelson’s acoustic guitar Trigger and his voice are two of the best friends a music standard can have.

    In 1978, Willie Nelson surprised many with his album devoted to the Great American Songbook, Stardust. But nowadays, nobody is really surprised when Nelson ventures outside classic country music in areas such as reggae, jazz, or blues.

    On songs such as “Summertime,” Willie Nelson proves he is still one of our great song interpreters with his version of the often-covered “Summertime.” Check out Willie and Trigger on “Summertime” below.

    The album features such classics as “I Got Rhythm” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” Below, is his new version of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” which he had previously covered with a different arrangement for Stardust.

    A few other singers join Nelson on a couple of the tracks. Cyndi Lauper joins Nelson on a playful “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” And Sheryl Crow helps out on “Embraceable You.” For a limited time, you may listen to songs from the album on NPR.

    Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin hits stores and the Internet on February 26, 2016.

    What is your favorite Willie Nelson cover of an American standard? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The First Song Loretta Lynn Ever Wrote

    Loretta Lynn is releasing her first new studio album since her 2004 collaboration with Jack White, Van Lear Rose. The upcoming album, Full Circle, sounds like it will have been worth waiting for.

    The new album, produced by Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash, delves into Lynn’s roots and influences. According to her website, Full Circle “takes listeners on a journey through Loretta’s musical story, from the Appalachian folk songs and gospel music she learned as a child, to new interpretations of her classic hits and country standards, to songs newly-written for the project.”

    A few guests pop up on the new album too. Willie Nelson joins Lynn on “Lay Me Down,” while Elvis Costello provides guest vocals on “Everything It Takes.”

    The 83-year-old singer-songwriter also includes a new version of the first song she ever wrote, “Whispering Sea.” In the song about heartbreak, the singer recounts how she learned from the whispering sea that her lover had been untrue. In the chorus, she sings: “Whispering sea rolling by, why don’t you listen to me cry? / I cry because my love has proved untrue.”

    The tracks are not available for listening yet, but below you check out a performance of “Whispering Sea” where Lynn was joined onstage by Jack White.

    Loretta Lynn’s Full Circle is available for pre-order and will hit stores and the Internet on March 4, 2016.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp Sing “Night Life”

    This week, John Mellencamp joined Willie Nelson for a bluesy rendition of Nelson’s classic song about living the “Night Life.” The two appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert together, commemorating this weekend’s upcoming thirtieth anniversary of Farm Aid, which is being held in Chicago this year.

    With some help from Nelson’s guitar Trigger along with Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Mellencamp and Nelson give a nice performance. Nelson wrote the song in the late 1950s when he was playing clubs at night in Texas, struggling to make a living. “Listen to the blues that they’re playin’ / Listen what the blues are sayin’.” The song holds up more than fifty years later. Check it out.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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