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Rarities Edition: Copperhead Road

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The 2010 “Rarities Edition” of Copperhead Road includes only the “bonus” material from the previously issued “Deluxe Edition” of the album and nothing from the original album. Anyone looking for the actual album should look elsewhere. Eleven tracks are from a loose and inspired 1987 gig in Raleigh, North Carolina, featuring material from Earle's previous studio albums, Guitar Town and Exit 0, Copperhead’s “The Devil’s Right Hand” and the Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Wheels.” The addition of six more live tracks from 1988 and 1989 makes things even more appealing as they feature Earle’s take on Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” and the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers” where his populism, folk and rock roots become even more pronounced, as if the strong-armed production of the original Copperhead Road didn’t already tip the scales away from Nashville’s country sway and towards a heartland rock that would occupy him in the decades ahead.


Born: January 17, 1955 in Fort Monroe, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the strictest sense, Steve Earle isn't a country artist; he's a roots rocker. Earle emerged in the mid-'80s, after Bruce Springsteen had popularized populist rock & roll and Dwight Yoakam had kick-started the neo-traditionalist movement in country music. At first, Earle appeared to be more indebted to the rock side than country, as he played a stripped-down, neo-rockabilly style that occasionally verged on outlaw country. However, his unwillingness to conform to the rules of Nashville or rock...
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