Steve Earle is one of the most prolific songwriters alive. Anytime the Texas born-troubadour announces a new album, it's cause for celebration. But an record featuring Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson and Johnny Bush? You should probably go ahead and hit "pre-order" now.
Earle recently announced the upcoming release of So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, out June 16 on Warner Bros. Records, and it sounds completely awesome. Earle has described the record as a return to his roots. Though the singer-songwriter has spent the last ten years living in New York City, he still has plenty of Texas in his soul.
So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, featuring longtime backing band The Dukes, is the first album Earle has recorded in Austin, Texas. The album, produced by Richard Bennett, was recorded in the Hill Country hideaway of Arlyn Studios. And judging by the collaborations with Texas-born artists such as Lambert, Bush and Nelson, Earle seems to be putting the Lone Star State front and center.
Earle has described the album as his hat tip to the legendary outlaw country pioneer Waylon Jennings. The deluxe edition of the album even features Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?" as well as "Ain't No God in Mexico," a Billy Joe Shaver-penned track once covered by Jennings.
Earle honors another country legend on the album. "Goodbye Michelangelo" is a tribute to Earle's mentor, the late Guy Clark.
You can catch Steve Earle on tour this summer. In June, he'll kick off his annual songwriting retreat, Camp Copperhead in upstate New York. Earle will also be part of the stellar lineup at Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic.