Steve Earle: Live In Nashville 1995 (Shout! Factory) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Steve Earle

Live In Nashville 1995

Shout! Factory

Oct 14, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

“Someday I’m going to make a concept album,” Steve Earle jokingly tells his Nashville audience in December of 1995. “It’s going to all be songs with no references to the devil in them.” Almost 20 years later, it’s a promise (or a threat?) that we’re reasonably sure the singer hasn’t followed through with, which is fine: we love it when Earle comb’s the afterlife’s lower depths for song ideas. Live In Nashville 1995 actually contains back-to-back songs referencing Old Scratch: “The Devil’s Right Hand,” later covered by Johnny Cash, and “Angel Is The Devil.” (The latter contains these marvelously Earle-ish lyrics: “Got the kind of face you swear you seen someplace before/Coulda been your mama, coulda been a Mexican whore”.)

Nashville 1995 captures Earle at the tail end of his transition period from more traditional country guitarist to folk singer and roots rocker. (His current album at the time had been nominated for the Best Contemporary Folk Grammy while his next would win Best Rock Album from the Nashville Music Awards.) It’s an upbeat performance from the musician, full of friendly banter and a pair of guest appearances: Emmylou Harris joins Earle for duets on three songs (one of which includes the Melodians’ reggae classic “Rivers of Babylon”) and bluegrass legend Bill Monroe takes center stage on “Walls of Time.” If you’re a Steve Earle fan, it’s hard to ask for a better live sampling from the singer/songwriter’s mid career. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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