Album: I Feel Alright
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While Copperhead Road showed a path forward for Steve Earle, it was nearly a decade before he well and truly walked it. Made under the cloud of his coke and smack addictions, neither 1990’s The Hard Way and 1991’s stopgap live album Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator — both titles alluding to his fucked-up life — went anywhere, and neither did Earle.
Well, that’s not true: he went to jail in 1993 on drugs and weapons charges and at that particular rock bottom, got his shit together. I’ve been reading a poorly-written biography about Earle, and he was pretty fucked up for a very long time, and when he got his shit together, he was still in terrible shape for quite some time. Which is probably why his first sober release, 1995’s Train-A-Comin’ was a low-key, acoustic affair, featuring a bunch his older songs as well as covers.