Album review: Steve Earle, Copperhead Road (1988)


By Steve Newton

Virginia-born and Texas-raised country rocker Steve Earle carries on the fine tradition established by his first few albums with Copperhead Road, the sort of record that can please both rock and country audiences. Earle’s emphasis has shifted toward rock though, so there’s definitely a more aggressive edge to his sound.

The most notable tracks include the bluegrass-tinged “Johnny Come Lately”, which features those unbeatable  British folk-rockers the Pogues; “The Devil’s Right Hand”, an effective anti-gun tune that ranks right up there with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special”; and the touching Christmas ballad “Nothing But a Child, which sports the classy vocals of Maria McKee, from Lone Justice.

All the songwriting royalties from “Nothing But a Child” go to the Fearless Heart Fund for Homeless Children, which Earle cofounded to help establish daycare slots for children from homeless families.



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