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Transcendental Blues

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Editors’ Notes

After years filled with a rock star's indulgence and the aftermath of recovery, Steve Earle packed everything he'd learned so far, both in his turbulent personal life and in the ascending arc of his singer/songwriter odyssey, into this varied bag of original tunes. Falling between the humble, just-here-for-the-tradition bluegrass of The Mountain and the mouthy political activism of Jerusalem, and lacking a truly weak song, the musical balance he strikes here among country and rock, bluegrass and Celtic is striking and fully effective. The title track with its Beatles-y sitar and hand-drum opening, builds into a powerful beginning. "Another Town" is yet another chapter in Earle's ever-expanding journal of rocked up, guitar-driven anthems. "Steve's Last Ramble" scratches his bluegrass itch, while "The Galway Girl" nods towards his fondness for Celtic music and the Emerald Isle. Earle's best instincts and greatest gifts as a songwriter--not to mention soft heart and capacity for self-examination--come together in the bittersweet, "I Don't Want To Lose You Yet." Not surprisingly, he chooses as his coda the tender melody and intricately detailed lyrics of the Death Row tale, "Over Yonder (Jonathon's Song)."

Customer Reviews

One of the best songwriters around!!!!

Although I am not a huge fan of his politics, no one can write a song about pain, heartache, and the life of the common man quite like Steve Earle. Given his own personal turmoils and demons he has fought that is not surprising. What is great about this album is that he is willing to change his sound and experiment with new instruments that are rarely found in country. Some of the best songs on here are "Transcendental Blues", "The Boy Who Never Cried", and "Lonelier Than This." However, I do not feel there is a bad song on here. Great purchase and the whole album is worth $9.99.

once again

Steve Earle has everything on this album from country rock to folk to bluegrass.The title track is one of the best song that I ever heard. Another Town,The Galway Girl are catchy songs,and the duet on When I Fall is great. This is a great songwriters album. Steve plays what he wants that what makes him one of the best artist.

Steve's Last Classic

Everything he's put out since this album's been downhill or just not up to snuff, but Transcendental Blues is... well, transcendental. This is the album that brought me to a higher consciousness in my musical tastes. I appreciated and respected folks like Steve, Townes and Dylan before, but I never "got" it till I heard Steve singing these songs live on CMT (yeah, surprising huh?) late one Friday night. It knocked me out and this album opened my eyes. One track on here is nearly unlistenable (#5), but everything else is gold. You must own this.


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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