Musician, songwriter, actor and author Steve Earle and his country rock band The Dukes will release So You Wannabe an Outlaw on June 16 on Warner Bros. Records.
So You Wannabe an Outlaw, Earle’s first album for Warner Bros. Records since 1997’s El Corazón, explores his country songwriting roots and features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, and Miranda Lambert.
“There’s nothing ‘retro’ about this record,” Earle says. “I’m just acknowledging where I’m coming from.” So You Wannabe an Outlaw is the first recording he has made in Austin, TX. Earle has lived in New York City for the past decade. “Look, I’m always gonna be a Texan, no matter what I do,” he says. “And I’m always going to be somebody who learned their craft in Nashville. It’s who I am.”
So You Wannabe an Outlaw is an homage to outlaw music and is dedicated to the late Waylon Jennings. “I was out to unapologetically ‘channel’ Waylon as best as I could.” Earle says. “This record was all about me playing’ on the back pick-up of a ’66 Fender Telecaster on an entire record for the first time in my life. The vocal part of it is a little different. I certainly don’t sound like Waylon Jennings. I moved to Nashville in November of 1974, and right after that Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger came out. I was around when Waylon was recording Dreaming My Dreams. Guitar Town (Earle’s 1986 chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning debut album) wound up being kind of my version of those types of songs,” Earle recalls.
Earle is backed on So You Wannabe an Outlaw by his long-time band The Dukes — guitarist Chris Masterson, fiddle player Eleanor Whitmore, bassist Kelly Looney, and new members drummer Brad Pemberton and pedal steel player Ricky Ray Jackson. The album was produced by Richard Bennett and recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin.
The maestro of rock, country, blues, and bluegrass hits another fucking home run with SO YOU WANNABE AN OUTLAW, his ode to country legend Waylon Jennings. The true Steve Earle fan will want to score the CD/DVD bonus package that has 17 songs and a DVD that has a making of the album video, the official video of SO YOU WANNABE AN OUTLAW, and an album track by track video commentary by Earle.
Steve is backed once again by Chris Masterson and his wife, Eleanor Whitmore (who I talked to a year or so ago in Boulder, Colorado and has to be one of the hottest singers that I have seen - I was fucking tongue tied through most of the conversation) who it appears have become full time Dukes. And the great Willie Nelson appears on the opening track.
This a lean and fucking mean country album - not one to passed up. Easily five stars out of five.
Without a doubt, Steve Earle is the best singer/songwriter out there today! And if you don't agree with that you can suck it!
“The best stuff coming out of Nashville is all by women except for Chris Stapleton. He’s great. The guys just wanna sing about getting fucked up. They’re just doing hip-hop for people who are afraid of black people. I likethe new Kendrick Lamar record, so I’ll just listen to that.” - STEVE EARLE
Steve Earle and the Dukes will be in Boulder, Colorado on August 4th. I think this will be the ninth time that I've seen him in concert.