Steve Earle, “Guitar Town”
In 1966 John Sebastian, in the song “Nashville Cats,” wrote “There’s thirteen hundred and fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville.” Today there are probably a hundred times that many people in the Nashville area who, if not professionally, can play at least a couple chords on a guitar. Beginning especially since Chet Atkins hung his shingle on Music Row, Nashville has been known as “guitar town.”
By the mid-1980s Steve Earle had been kicking around Nashville for a decade, playing bass for Guy Clark and having his songs cut by such artists as Johnny Lee and the late Carl Perkins. But his own recording career was going nowhere until he hooked up with producer Tony Brown at MCA Records. In 1986 MCA released Earle’s album Guitar Town, and the title track became an anthem for road musicians and helped establish Earle as a foremost practitioner of what some critics called “twang-rock.”
Such an inspirational man. Definitely one of my heroes.