Throughout his more than 30-year career, Earle has mined the rich veins of American roots music from country to rock and roll, folk and rockabilly. On his 16th studio album of his singular career, Terraplane, Earle pays tribute to the blues, influenced by the blues giants he saw growing up in Texas – Lightnin’ Hopkins, Freddy King, Johnny Winter, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Canned Heat and Billy Gibbons.
Recorded in Nashville by Ray Kennedy and produced by R.S. Field, the new collection is his homage to the music that he calls “the commonest of human experience, perhaps the only thing that we all truly share” and a record he has wanted to make for a long time. Over 11 original tracks, Earle and his band The Dukes traverse various forms of the blues – from the Texas roadhouse blues of opener “Baby Baby Baby (Baby),” to the acoustic country blues of “Ain’t Nobody’s Daddy Now” and the Chicago blues of “The Usual Time” to the pre-war blues of “Baby’s Just As Mean As Me,” a duet with Eleanor Whitmore.
The electrified “King of The Blues” features some scorching guitar playing from guitarist Chris Masterson” and on “The Tennessee Kid” Earle sounds like a possessed street preacher as he retells the Faustian crossroads legend over a John Lee Hooker-esque boogie.
Described by Mojo as “Earle’s passion for blues in its rawest form,”Terraplane has been receiving rave reviews with Uncut choosing it as their“Americana Album of the Month” and London’s Express & Star exclaiming “It’s like Robert Johnson meets Johnny Cash – and it’s a truly stunning work.”
Rolling Stone awarded it three and half stars and called it “less a soul-searcher than a sturdy vehicle, built to chug through hard times,” while Vintage Guitar remarked, “In a time when far too many modern ‘blues’ records feel antiseptic and slick, Earle and band superbly integrate new songs and old sounds.”
Geoff Peckham… Warning: that’s the same night as the Factory reunion…..just sayin’. Otherwise I’d be thinking of going too!
Alan Esdaile… Thanks for the reminder Geoff.
Mike Curtis… I reckon Steve will cancel and come and see you Geoff!
Peter Fairless… The last of the harcore troubadors, shame it’s not the pier!
Alex Chapman… Fantastic Band!