Steve Earle “Guitar Town”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#182 in the Series) is Steve Earle, Guitar Town.

His first and still my favorite. I saw him at the Park West shortly after his second album; Exit 0 was released. But I always liked this one.

The Chicago market was onto Steve Earle pretty early thanks to WXRT.  They played this album from day one, If not earlier.  What’s a great thing about Steve Earle too is that he’s never forgotten that. He’s repaid the favor to them many times over.   They were not the only help he had here.  Steve Dahl was onto him early as well.

“Guitar Town,” plus “My Old Friend the Blues” and “Someday” were some of the highlights, but there is a ton of good music on this disc.

Steve had pretty much the same band for his first two albums.  This and the aforementioned Exit O.  They were called The Dukes.   His band and sounded changed on his third album, “Copperhead Road.” He was still great. But give me the first two and the Dukes, Thank You

It was released in 1986 and was one of the first digitally recorded country albums. It had one of those little DDD codes on it. Remember those?

Guitar Town was produced by Emory Gordy, Jr and Tony Brown. They’re legendary.  Duke’s guitarist Richard Bennett also received a production credit.  Richard has been in Mark Knopfler’s band for years now.

Emory Gordy, Jr. was a member of Emmylou Harris’ original Hot Band.  He also played and was discussed in these parts as part of Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill’ Notorious Cherry Bombs project.

Guitar Town reached #129 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart in 1987. It was #1 on the Country Album Chart.

It was certified ‘Gold’ by the RIAA in 1999.

I wanted to close on a rare negative thought. There was a major flaw in the title cut, Guitar Town. It was only 2:33 seconds long!!

–Larry Carta

Track listing

All songs written by Steve Earle unless otherwise noted

  1. “Guitar Town” – 2:33
  2. “Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left” – 3:16
  3. “Hillbilly Highway” (Earle, Jimbeau Hinson) – 3:36
  4. “Good Ol’ Boy (Gettin’ Tough)” (Richard Bennett, Earle) – 3:58
  5. “My Old Friend the Blues” – 3:07
  6. “Someday” – 3:46
  7. “Think It Over” (Bennett, Earle) – 2:13
  8. “Fearless Heart” – 4:04
  9. “Little Rock & Roller” – 4:49
  10. “Down the Road” (Tony Brown, Earle, Hinson) – 2:37


  • Steve Earle – guitar, vocals
  • Bucky Baxter – pedal steel guitar
  • Richard Bennett – guitar, 6-string bass, slap bass
  • Paul Franklin – pedal steel guitar on “Fearless Heart” and “Someday”
  • Emory Gordy, Jr. – bass, mandolin, bass guitar
  • John Jarvis – synthesizer, piano
  • Ken Moore – organ, synthesizer
  • Steve Nathan – synthesizer
  • Harry Stinson – drums, vocals


 Listen to some Steve Earle below

Posted by Larry Carta

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