Steve Earle

Steve Earle, Glen Campbell & Opinions on Vic Mensa

Over his decades long career, Steve Earle has been many things – songwriter, novelist, actor, activist. But for his latest record, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, he went back to the foundation he started from: outlaw country. Steve joins Jim and Greg to talk about about those early influences and how he sees his duty as a songwriter. He also performs a special solo set in front of a live audience at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. Plus, a review of the debut album from Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and a tribute to the late Glen Campbell.

[Photo: Clare Perry]

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Vic Mensa The Autobiography

This week, Jim and Greg review The Autobiography, the debut album by Chicago rapper Vic Mensa – a name already familiar around Chicago , with fans including Chance The Rapper and Kanye West. Mensa raps with a "genre-free approach to what hip hop is" while addressing his upbringing, his experiences with violence and drugs, and his own self-abuse - causing Greg to describe the record as brutally honest and“very emo.” Jim and Greg applaud producer No I.D. both for recognizing Mensa's artistic abilities and for producing a succinct album, rather than a bunch of singles. While Jim and Greg note that Mensa definitely tries too hard with some of the lyrics, both agree that the album is“really impressive…and moving”and give it a double Buy It.

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Steve Earle

Singer/songwriter is no longer sufficient enough to describe the artistic output of Steve Earle. The novelist, playwright, actor, activist AND singer/songwriter has released his 16th studio album, So You Wannabe An Outlaw. The record is a return to the outlaw country sound he cut his teeth on, recording most of it on a 1955 Fender Telecaster while "shamelessly channeling Waylon Jennings." Steve joined Jim and Greg at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago to perform a solo acoustic set and talk about his craft.“I realized that's what the job is…it's how we're the same, not how we're different…it's the universal things in these songs,”says Steve of his job as a songwriter. In their wide ranging interview, Jim and Greg talk with Steve about finding empathy in political songs, balancing life while on tour, the research that goes into his songs, and which cities have the best Mexican food (sorry, Austin).

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Featured Songs

  1. Vic Mensa feat. Pharrell Williams, Saul Williams, Wings, The Autobiography, Def Jam, 2017
  2. Vic Mensa, Memories on 47th St., The Autobiography, Def Jam, 2017
  3. Vic Mensa feat. Chief Keef & Joey Purp, Down for Some Ignorance (Ghetto Lullaby), The Autobiography, Def Jam, 2017
  4. Vic Mensa feat. Ty Dolla $ign, We Could Be Free, The Autobiography, Def Jam, 2017
  5. Vic Mensa feat. Weezer, Homewrecker, The Autobiography, Def Jam, 2017
  6. Clams Casino, Stem_Long Stem Remix, Instrumental Mixtape 4, Self-released, 2017
  7. Steve Earle and the Dukes, Fixin' To Die, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  8. Steve Earle and the Dukes, This Is How It Ends, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  9. Steve Earle and the Dukes, So You Wannabe An Outlaw (Live on Sound Opinions), So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  10. Waylon Jennings, Honky Tonk Heroes, Honky Tonk Heroes, RCA, 1973
  11. Steve Earle and the Dukes, If Mama Coulda Seen Me, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  12. Steve Earle and the Dukes, Lookin' For A Woman, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  13. Steve Earle and the Dukes, The Firebreak Line (Live on Sound Opinions), So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  14. Steve Earle, John Walker's Blues, Jerusalem, Artemis, 2002
  15. Steve Earle, Guitar Town, Guitar Town, MCA, 1986
  16. Steve Earle, Copperhead Road, Copperhead Road, Uni, 1988
  17. Steve Earle, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Artemis, 2002
  18. Merle Haggard And The Strangers, Okie From Muskogee, Okie From Muskogee (Recorded“Live”In Muskogee, Oklahoma), Capitol, 1969
  19. Steve Earle, Little Rock ‘N’ Roller, Guitar Town, MCA, 1986
  20. Taylor Swift, Mean (Live at the 2012 Grammys), Speak Now, Big Machine, 2012
  21. Steve Earle and the Dukes, Goodbye Michelangelo (Live on Sound Opinions), So You Wannabe An Outlaw, Warner Bros., 2017
  22. Glen Campbell, Rhinestone Cowboy, Rhinestone Cowboy, Capitol, 1975
  23. Frank Sinatra, Strangers in the Night, Strangers in the Night, Reprise, 1966
  24. Glen Campbell, Galveston (Live on Country Music Television), N/A, N/A, 2002
  25. Young Thug and Travis Scott feat. Quavo, pick up the phone, Jeffrey, Atlantic, 2016
  26. BÊNNÍ, Stardance, I & II, Goner, 2017
  27. George Harrison, Wah-Wah, All Things Must Pass, Apple, 1970
  28. Black Sabbath, N.I.B., Black Sabbath, Vertigo, 1970
  29. Metallica, (Anesthesia)—Pulling Teeth, Kill 'Em All, Megaforce, 1983
  30. Rage Against the Machine, Bulls on Parade, Evil Empire, Epic, 1996