We’ve finally boarded and we’re underway, time to block out everything else and zone into my ‘Natural Born Heroes‘ (Christopher McDougall) in the attempt to stave off any mid-flight murders given my seatmates are engaged in a loud conversation on why Donald Trump is the only logical choice as the future president of the United States. Now, I could deal with sitting next to just about anyone, but Trump supporters?
“WHY OH LORD, WHY ME?”
The only obvious remedy at this moment in time is the ‘Shut Up and Die Like An Aviator‘ by Steve Earle.
The album was released in 1991 and recorded live in London and Kitchener (misspelled in the liner notes at “Kitchner”) Ontario, Canada, in October of 1990. So how’s that for an interesting turn of fate? A Canadian travel flying from Texas to Canada and listening to a Texan performing in Canada? AND it has an aviation theme.
After Earle’s 1990 album ‘The Hard Way‘ stumbled in the marketplace and his drug addiction became a poorly kept secret in Nashville, he was on the outs with his record label, MCA, who decided to let him out of his contract in the time-honored fashion, with a live album. At the same time, Earle had become an arena-level star, and features him and his band rolling through a set of his biggest hits. The show is amazing and there great examples of where he’s sharp and committed. He literally wrenches every ounce of drama he can from ‘Billy Austin‘, and his short but pointed cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ ‘Blue Yodel #9‘ is great as is his version of the Rolling Stones ‘Dead Flowers‘. However, it’s the awesome long and ominous creepy crawl through ‘West Nashville Boogie‘ (easily trumps the version on ‘The Hard Way‘ album) which is the highlight for me and, likely, the only reason why the Trump morons beside me are still alive.
Equally awesome is Earle’s backing band the Dukes, especially guitarist Zip Gibson and Bucky Baxter on steel and six-string.
This is what I would refer to as a “dangerous” album; a real, honest-to-Pete rock n’ roll record. It sounds as if it could blow apart at any second, and just maybe take this entire Canadair CJ1 jet with it. Not that the world would be any worse off without these two numb nuts in Seats 27A and 27B in it, mind you.