I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

Between acting (The Wire), fiction writing (his novel arrives in May) and psychedelic calls to arms ("The Revolution Starts Now"), it's easy to forget that Steve Earle is a country singer. He reminds you here. Produced by T Bone Burnett, this may be the shaggy outlaw's most polished set: Check the movingly animist "God Is God," the stately Cajun "Waitin' on the Sky" and Earle's own singing, which transcends his usual blasted croak. Yet he's still your lefty BFF on "Little Emperor," a bluegrass kiss-off to George W. Bush that recalls a time when blame was easier to assign.

Listen to Steve Earle's "Every Part of Me":  
Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos

From The Archives Issue 1129: April 28, 2011