If you’ve followed my musical rants for any length of time, you know I’m a big Steve Earle fan. He’s one of our greatest songwriters. In fact, I think he was our best songwriter in the 80s when he rolled out a masterpiece 3-peat with Guitar Town (1986), Exit 0 (1987 & my favorite), and Copperhead Road (1988).
Not content to stick to songs, in 2001 he offered up Doghouse Roses (Houghton Mifflin), a book of short stories. Now he’s tried his hand at a novel with I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive (Houghton Mifflin, 2011). Let’s just say that I couldn’t have picked a better book to kick off my new Kindle addiction.
Speaking of addiction, it’s part of the story along with a gigantic (size-wise) Mexican drug dealer, his key client (a man who has fallen off the perch of his high society beginning, stripped of his license to practice medicine due to his addictions and is continually tormented by the ghost of Hank Williams), a beautiful illegal alien Mexican woman, and a Catholic priest. These and other folks are brought together in a seedy section of San Antonio and Earle weaves his captivating tale.
If you get into it, you might do well to go back and check out the above three albums. If you still want more, read Hardcore Troubador – The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle (Harper Collins, 2003)
Onward, Malcolm Gauld