Steve Earle he is an established socialist and country musician. Stresses once again this exceptional position with his new album Ghosts Of West Virginiawhich will be released on May 22 by New West Records. It tells the fate of miners in West Virginia, starting with the “Upper Big Branch Disaster”, one of the biggest mining accidents in the history of the United States, in which 29 miners were killed. Once again he is supported by the long player by his “dukes”.
West Virginia, like Kentucky, is one of the United States’ coal fields. In the past, industry was vital to the American economic system, but today it is an extinct industry. The result: where proud miners once lived in relative social security after successful job disputes, there is now unemployment and lack of prospects. And although Trump is a representative of the ruling economic elite, residents of the area are part of his constituents and hope for his “America First” policy.
This is where Socialist Earle comes in. He does not demonize these Trump voters as racists or rights, but takes their concerns seriously: the diminishing pride of the miners, unemployment, the concern that “they are no longer worth it”, poverty and lack of prospects. But it also denounces mining companies’ practices: poor safety standards in mines and anti-union behavior when miners try to defend their interests.
From these conditions, one of the most promising American albums of this year has been created. “I wanted to talk to people who don’t necessarily vote the way I do, but that doesn’t mean we have nothing in common. We must learn to communicate with each other. My participation in this project is my small contribution to this effort. And the way to do it – and to do it flawlessly – is simply to honor the people who died in Upper Big Branch, “Earle recently said,” Rolling Stone. “
He wrote some of the songs for the play “Coal Country”, as well as other pieces about people and the region, as well as the traditional John Henry. The first single version is “Devil Put The Coal In The Ground”, a piece that tackles the hard work of the miners.
You can expect this concept album, which in its own way follows in the footsteps of a legendary country album. In 1947 Merle Travis released the album “Folk Songs of the Hills”, which spoke of the life of railroad workers and miners in Kentucky. “Nine Pound Hammer” and in particular “Sixteen Tons” have become big hits. It is desirable that Earle’s album receives similar attention.
Steve Earle – The Ghosts Of West Virginia: Das Album
title: Ghosts of West Virginia
Artist: Steve Earle
Release date: 22. May 2020
Label: New West Records
formats: CD, vinyl and digital
Execution time: 29:46 Min.
Track list: (The Ghosts Of West Virginia)
01. Heaven is not going anywhere
02. Union, God and country
03. The devil has put coal into the ground
04. John Henry was a man who drives steel
05. Time is never on our side
06. It’s about blood
07. If you could see your face again – feat. Eleanor Whitmore
08. Black lung
09. The fastest man in the world
10. The Mine