Steve Earle: I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

New West Records

What do we expect from Steve Earle these days? Life has changed, and Earle has made a soundtrack for those changes. He left Nashville for lower Manhattan, lost his Dad, married for the seventh or eighth time, had a new son, wrote a novel and appeared on a couple of hit cable series. And he's still making music. It's been several years since his last release of new material, and I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is a potpourri of his experiences and musical explorations over the last 10 years. Want some Irish folk with a side of contemporary American politics? Try "The Gulf of Mexico" or "Molly-O." Want some rockin' Dukes stuff? How about "Waitin' on the Sky?" Is hard-edged bluegrass your thing? "Little Emperor" will do the trick. Yes, he's all over the place on this one, but Earle can take those chances. We wouldn't expect any less. (4 out of 5 stars)