Review: Steve Earle – Terraplane (New West / Warner Music Canada)

Steve EarleMy taste for Steve Earle has waned slightly over the course of his last few records. It’s not that Earle’s quality of songwriting has been diminished as much as I felt he wasn’t necessarily pushing himself into new territory. For better or worse, depending on your viewpoint, those prayers seem to have been answered with Terraplane. Reportedly inspired by blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins as well as a trip to Europe where he was armed only with a guitar and mandolin, Terraplane boasts a distinct influence of the blues, a genre that Earle’s well-worn vocals seamlessly fit into. Although Earle doesn’t reinvent the wheel with Terraplane, it is refreshing to hear him travel down new roads.