Steve Earle & the Dukes (& Duchesses) – The Low Highway

When you’ve won a Grammy Award with your previous album the anticipation is up for the follow up. Steve Earle has previously released fifteen albums (either in solo or collaborative format) and his sixteenth remains firmly on the Americana/alt-country highway. Being on the road and traveling is a reoccurring theme on the record. It is not world weary, rather there is plenty of reflection on a life lived on the road. He wears his well-worn passport proudly on his sleeve. There is certainly an appreciation for the sights and sounds he has seen. There are few who can write a lyric like the folk poet. He backs up these verbal nuggets with a variety of instrumentation from a steel pedal guitar to a twangy bluegrass acoustic guitar to the heartbreaking sound of a weeping fiddle. Telling the stories with his own soulful voice he adeptly incorporates harmonies from other voices, including his wife Alison Moorer, to round out the telling of the stories. The modern day troubadour goes from town to town telling his tale pausing briefly in between to record some material and we are all the better for it.

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