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Simple Gearle

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Album Review

On her auspicious debut album, Stacey Earle, younger sister of country-rock icon Steve Earle, comes across as a rough-hewn blend of Emmylou Harris and Nanci Griffith. Her music is a folk-country hybrid, and is just the sort of thing that label executives in Nashville don't want to acknowledge exists in their vicinity. Her songs are exclusively about the relationships between women and men. These aren't narratives so much as finely drawn descriptions of emotional responses to situations. The emotions seem real, and drawn from experience, perhaps because they are ambiguous enough to sound like honest attempts to describe the indescribable. The sparse instrumentation aids Earle's knowing vocals in getting the emotions across. One of the most immediately appealing songs on the album is "Cried My Heart Out," a smart song about lost love. Driven by a steady groove and some nifty lead guitar work, this could conceivably get slicked up and become a hit for one of the pretty girls who populate Nashville these days. Simple Gearle has an immediacy and an honesty that is rare these days; Stacey Earle is a real treasure.


Born: 1961 in San Antonio, TX

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The younger sister of country renegade Steve Earle and a gifted singer/songwriter in her own right, Stacey Earle was born and raised in San Antonio, TX; she began playing music at 15, picking up a guitar Steve left behind at the family's home, but after marrying two years later and giving birth to her first child she seemed fated to a domestic life far removed from show business. In 1990 Earle divorced her husband and moved with her kids to Nashville, where they took up residence in Steve's home;...
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Simple Gearle, Stacey Earle
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