Colvin & Earle Record Review
Colvin & Earle(Fantasy)
When Shawn Colvin cut Steve Earle's "Someday" for her Grammy-nominated 1994 LP Cover Girl, she was a rising chart-topper of crossover folk, and he'd just been released from jail on a heroin bust. Twenty years later, the pair's realignment for an album of co-writes and covers shows off both as wise and generous collaborators. Buddy Miller's sure-handed production places the natural chemistry between Colvin and Earle front and center while also pushing each other in new directions. Instead of sweet and simple duets, the two Texans instead grind an experienced grit and sweat, opener "Come What May" setting the tone on Earle's hard percussive strum against a rant of resigned love. "Tell Moses" also tees off, this time politically and with gospel fervor. "You're Right (I'm Wrong)" bruises he said/she said, but "The Way That We Do" sways tender against a melody echoing the Eagles' "Best of My Love." The duo's "Ruby Tuesday" cover slides rough, understated, but their take on "You Were on My Mind" hits a high note. Closing original "You're Still Gone" strikes the most emotional, the co-write with Miller's wife and former Austinite Julie Miller unraveling a tangle of experience and loss.