Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Good, but not great.
on 16 June 2014
Steve Earle covering Townes Van Zandt is never going to make a bad album (and certainly I play this cd more than the disappointing The Revolution Starts Now). However I tend to agree with those who see this as somewhat of a missed opportunity; the main reason being that Steve really doesn't add that much to the orginal recordings. The album sounds exactly what you would expect a Townes Van Zandt cover album by Steve Earle to sound like. Steve stripping the original recordings down to fit his version of 'authenticity'; acoustic guitar; banjos; Steve's weatherbeaten vocal delivery and so forth. Whether this is a good or bad thing will depend on the listener.
There is one major omission though and that is the version of Rex's Blues, with spoken introduction, that segued into Steve's own Fort Worth Blues that Steve was playing in concert around this time. I'm not sure if the version on Just an American Boy features the spoken intro, I don't own that CD, but the performances of those songs cut deeper than anything on this album. If you haven't heard them be sure to check them out on youtube.
If you like Townes Van Zandt or Steve Earle you won't regret buying this recording. Whether the album is strong enough to convert any new listeners to Townes, or Steve, is another thing altogether.