The Warner Bros Years

The Warner Bros Years

by Steve Earle

CD(4 CDs + DVD Box Set)


In his brief intro to this collection, Steve Earle makes one point: that his creativity in recovery is far greater than it was in the throes of addiction. He writes, "I've done way more shit sober than I did fucked up...There are people who would argue that my early albums, Guitar Town and Copperhead Road are better records than Train a Comin' and El Corazón but they're wrong...." Writer/director/colleague David Simon (Homicide, The Wire, Treme) makes a far longer, more detailed, and personal case for the same thing in his lengthy liner essay. The truth is that Earle's right; the three studio albums collected from his tenure with Warner Bros. -- Train a Comin', I Feel Alright, and El Corazón -- were all recorded in consecutive years after his getting out of jail and rehab. They are as different from one another as they are from virtually anything else on the Americana scene, and they remain so. Train a Comin' featured current songs ("Goodbye," "Angel Is the Devil") against some of his earliest ("Tom Ames' Prayer," "Ben McCulloch"), stripped to the bone and played acoustically with legends Norman Blake, Roy Huskey, and Peter Rowan. I Feel Alright was the direct opposite, a more roots-oriented return to the rock & roll of Copperhead Road, yet harder and more consistent: evidence lies in tracks such as the title, "Hard-Core Troubadour," "Billy and Bonnie," and "South Nashville Blues." But it's the last of these recordings that is the masterpiece. El Corazón wed country, bluegrass, Celtic folk, and rock & roll in a collection that brought Earle's wide range into clear view. Though there isn't a weak track on the set, the highlights, to name a few, include the protest folk of "Christmas in Washington," which calls on the wandering spirits of Woody Guthrie, Emma Goldman, and Joe Hill to inspire a new generation; the rock & roll indictment of racism in "Taneytown" with Emmylou Harris; "I Still Carry You Around," a busted bluegrass love song with the Del McCoury Band (with whom he would record The Mountain a year later); the hard alt-country of "N.Y.C." with the Supersuckers; and the haunted Celtic/Texas country balladry of "Ft. Worth Blues." Few artists have had a three-album run like that. In addition, there is another disc containing a Nashville concert from 1995 that features guest spots from Bill Monroe and Harris, as well as a DVD with a gig at the Cold Creek Correctional Facility from 1996. It's all packaged in a handsome slipcase, with two separate digipacks illustrated by Tony Fitzpatrick and a handsome booklet with the essays by Earle and Simon and complete lyrics. With the incentive of live material for old fans and the sheer brilliance on offer when these records are taken together, The Warner Bros. Years is a powerful testament to Earle's second act.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/25/2013
Label: Shout Factory
UPC: 0826663135732
catalogNumber: 13573

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Earle   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Mandola,Hi String,Interviewee
Norman Blake   Dobro,Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Hawaiian Guitar
Del McCoury   Guitar,Vocals
Bill Monroe   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Peter Rowan   Mandolin,Vocals,Mandola,Gut String Guitar
Emmylou Harris   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Ray Kennedy   Guitar,Harmonium,Tambourine,Shaker,Hand Drums
Fairfield Four   Vocals
Lucinda Williams   Vocals
Ken Moore   Organ
Robert Mason   Cello
Richard Bennett   Guitar,Percussion,Harmonium
Dan Bolton   Electric Guitar
Mike Bub   Bass
Custer   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Carl Gorodetzky   Violin
Tommy Hannum   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jim Hoke   Baritone Saxophone
Lee Larrison   Viola
Andy Logan   Vocals
Kelly Looney   Bass,Vocals
Rob McCoury   Banjo
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin,Vocals
Greg Morrow   Percussion,Drums
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Michael Smotherman   Organ
Garry Tallent   Bass
Roy Huskey   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Richard Grosjean   Violin
Dancing Eagle   Drums
Eddie Spaghetti   Bass
Cheri Knight   Hand Clapping
Dub Cornett   Percussion
Ric Kipp   Bass
Rick Schell   Drums
Ross Rice   Drums,Vocals
David Steele   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Renaldo Allegre   Electric Guitar
Mark Stuart   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Keyboards,Vocals,Mandola
Scott Miller   Vocals
Michael Kelsh   Vocals
Justin Townes Earle   Electric Guitar
Siobhan Kennedy   Vocals
Roy Huskey   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Jason Carter   Fiddle
Brady Blade   Percussion,Drums,Tambourine,Rubboard
Kris Wilkerson   Conductor
Elisa Sanders   Hand Clapping
Brad Jones   Bass,Vocals
Kathleen Cotter   Hand Clapping

Technical Credits

Norman Blake   Composer
Bill Monroe   Composer
Peter Rowan   Composer
Ray Kennedy   Producer,Engineer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Steve Earle   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Richard Bennett   Producer
Peter Coleman   Engineer
Richard Dodd   Producer,Engineer
Wayne Neuendorf   Engineer
Mark Prentice   Music Direction
Richard Sturtridge   Collage
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Jeff Tamarkin   Interviewer
Owsley Manier   Art Direction
David Gorman   Producer,Art Direction
Brad Talbott   Art Direction
Carol Donovan   Executive Producer
Joe Perota   Director
Jay Vacari   Engineer
Twangtrust   Producer
Traditional   Composer
Tony Fitzpatrick   Illustrations,Cover Art,Cover Painting
William Alsobrook   Producer
Derek Dressler   Producer
David Simon   Liner Notes
Brian Blum   Producer
Fritz Hoffman   Cover Photo
Mike Elliot   Engineer
Roy Huskey   Inspiration
Jon Dunleavy   Engineer
James McNaughton   Composer
Brent Dowe   Composer
Kris Wilkerson   String Arrangements
Kevin West   Producer

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