Album review: Steve Earle & the Dukes (and Duchesses), The Low Highway (New West)


Steve Earle's latest album pulls no punches in its survey of the American social landscape. The “low highway” of the title track is a sort of hardship highway travelled by the underclass. It's Springsteen territory, occupied with pride in songs like “21st Century Blues” and the elegiac closer “Remember Me”.

In between, Earle essays accordion-driven Tex-Mex boogie on “That All You Got?”, and jaunty Western swing on “Love's Gonna Blow My Way”. But the most mordant track has to be “Burnin' It Down”, where he evokes the desperation of those crushed by corporate interests.

Download: The Low Highway; Burnin' It Down; Remember Me