Cover of the Week 16 Valentine’s Day
I’m posting next week’s cover a few days early, as it is timely: a cover of Steve Earle’s aching “Valentine’s Day.”
Steve has put out so much music over the years that it is difficult to keep up. He is one of those artists whom I feel guilty about not keeping completely up with, as I think he is one of our great songwriter’s. But Feel Alright and El Corazon are two mid-career albums to start with.
Steve’s travails have been well-documented. He has had a hard paper route, as my wife might say in all of her Southern-Jersey-ness (Jersocity?). He has been married about 32 times. We had a publicist at some point late in the 1990s who had been wife #30, I believe. Either way, when Steve pens lines like, “I know that I swore that I wouldn’t forget/I wrote it all down/I lost it I guess,” you know he isn’t just being cute, clever, taking on a character; he is this guy. And just in case you don’t believe it from my rendition, go buy his original recording. Mine only hints at the depth of emotion in the song.
We had the honor to play with Steve as well as Ricki Lee Jones (Whose first few records still kill me) in Austin at SXSW a couple of years back. Steve was just sitting backstage with us talking guitars with Tommy Maginnis. Oh yeah, and another hero, John Doe was back there too. And if you think I’m name dropping, you’re damned straight. That and a bunch of songs and some good friends are the most I have gotten from being in a band. A chance to play with Ricki Lee and Steve Earle in Austin while the ever-gracious John Doe sips beer with us? Tell me you wouldn’t tell the tale as well. At this point in my life, such is the gravy.
[Update 2019: Got to open a show and sing a song with Steve at the City Winery in Boston in 2018, one of the gratfiying things that happened that year.
My allmusic.com review from years ago