Saturday Spins: Steve Earle’s Ghosts of West Virginia

Christopher Bradley

Christopher is a lawyer from NEPA, aka, Pennsultucky, He is an avid baseball fan, audiophile, and dog owner. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife and daughters, reading, listening to music, watching baseball (except the Yankees) and writing. If you wish to send him a positive missive, any errata concerning albums, or requests regarding albums: saturdayspins32 at gmail dot com

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10 Responses

  1. Em Carpenter says:

    Loved this, for obvious reasons. Thank you from refraining from your usual WV bashingReport

  2. Slade the Leveller says:

    The content of this record reminds me a lot of Son Volt’s Union.Report

    • I actually have two copies of that, one regular and the other a special edition. I have always been more of a Wilco guy. Farrar is a talented dude, but I feel like he never grew as an artist in the way Tweedy did after Uncle Tupelo.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Christopher Bradley says:

        Alternate take: he didn’t need to grow, he came out fully formed. 🙂

        I totally get that some people don’t like Farrar’s vocals or the ‘psychological doom’ vibe, but his post-Uncle Tupelo stuff – in particular the stuff he released as solo – is astonishingly good. He makes albums, not collections of singles. The first two Sun Volt albums are as good as it gets.Report

  3. Stillwater says:

    Not a huge Steve Earle fan – though I did like Transcendental Blues a lot – but I went to see him down in Denver a few years ago with my wife. He was – surprisingly! – the opening act for Mary Chapin Carpenter, and towards the end of the set, when it was pretty clear that most of the people in the audience were chatting and uninterested in his music, only waiting to hear the headliner, he got frustrated – with his amp apparently! – then kicked it and stabbed it with his guitar. Then walked off the stage. Hero!Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

      One thing I really do appreciate is the Steve Earle origin story. Apparently it involves leaving home at 16 (or younger?) to follow Townes Van Zandt around the country. Do people do stuff like that anymore? I don’t think they do, what with video and all.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

        Internet tells me he was 14 when he left home in search of Townes. Amazing.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Stillwater says:

        Yeah people still do stuff like that. I was at a basement punk show a while back. I ended up hanging with a bunch of weirdos who ramble from city to city and couch surf a lot. Basically they were wandering trans gutterpunks. They were fun.

        I always feel weird interacting with that crowd. On the one hand, I’m one of them — at least I used to be, back in my twenties. On the other hand, these days I’m a bougie tech worker, so that’s a thing.

        Anyway, there are hundreds of millions of Americans. Everything happens.Report

  1. January 14, 2021

    […] LP, Ghosts of West Virginia on my 2020 “best of” list and not long before that it was a Saturday Spin on this here website. Since the most credible version of the legendary event took place in West […]Report

  2. January 16, 2021

    […] I very recently covered this LP on Saturday Spins. Steve Earle wrote and recorded it as a tribute to the 29 miners lost in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. Not every track is about that disaster, but perhaps fittingly, “Fastest Man Alive” is about aviation legend, Chuck Yeager, who recently passed on.3 There’s even a track about the legend of John Henry. Anyway, the whole album is filled with great country, bluegrass, and country-rock grooves. […]Report