Steve Earle

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

Steve Earle

The Revolution Starts Now (Artemis) The Revolution Starts Now, just in time not only for election season, but also at a juncture when Steve Earle could use a shot of musical redemption. Since getting sober, Schertz, Texas' favorite son, has produced the best music of his career, but lately affairs of state have been getting in the way of his songwriting. Despite a Grammy nomination, 2002's protest LP Jerusalem was bloated with humorless, self-righteous folk rock. Earle's latest is correspondingly a mixed bag, with almost every song recorded within 24 hours of being written, according to the liner notes, yet deliverance remains a kiss away. The good news is that Earle has rediscovered his funny bone, and with his guitar-slinging Dukes in tow, the self-proclaimed redneck lefty breaks into a wicked grin on several tracks. The trucker's ode "Home to Houston" finds him grinding gears in Basra, which is only funny until you think about it. "F the CC" channels the late, lamented Ramones, reminding us that "Dirty Lenny" died so we could all be free, while the reggae-inflected "Condi, Condi" pokes fun at our nation's national security advisor, though Earle veers dangerously close to racial and sexual stereotyping. After a promising start, the small town boy drops a couple of stinkers, including the predictable liberal lament "Rich Man's War" and the excretable "Warrior," a Doors-y spoken word piece in iambic pentameter (insert hoot of derision here). Sure, we're living in politically charged times, but Earle's Revolution warrants fewer rants and more transcendental blues.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Review: Johanna Heilman, <i>When We Were Electric</i>
Review: Johanna Heilman, When We Were Electric
When We Were Electric (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 30, 2023

Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, <i>Split</i>
Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, Split
Tape of tender lullabies envisions a warm refuge for queer people

Wayne Lim, May 12, 2023

More by Dan Oko
Spotlight: Richard Thompson
Spotlight: Richard Thompson
10pm, Antone's

March 15, 2013

Ballroom Dancing
SXSW Keynote: Dave Grohl
SXSW panel reviews

March 15, 2013

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle