I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic
Finding out what musicians actually think on political and social issues can sometimes be a risky business; they’re not usually as downright dim as sportspeople often seem to be, but it’s a sad fact that playing a good riff is not the same as having decent views and being able to articulate them. [There is also, of course, the issue of how one might feel about someone who is a brilliant artist but has shit politics: I love the novels of Mario Vargas Lhosa, but I have to not think about his views when I read them]. However, I just came across this recording of Steve Earle speaking on KEXP radio and playing a bunch of acoustic songs: as well as being an outstanding songwriter, Earle has great politics and can put them over in a way that is sensible, well-informed and down-to-earth. Most telling, perhaps, is his point that whilst protest singers such as Bob Dylan have been singing about widespread, systemic poverty in the USA for decades, not since Woody Guthrie has there been a generation who have actually witnessed it – until now:
Thanks Sarah. Pleased to have found your thoughtful and hard hitting blog. Looking forward to lts of reading here. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.
Earle is nothing but a two bit Townes Van Zandt wannabe, a musical plagiarist, and a soundbite poseur lefty whose only credentials are contained within his homage to Castro beard.