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Train a Comin

50 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 28, 1997
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Train a Comin + Guitar Town (Remastered)(Bonus Track) + El Corazon
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Steve Earle's first record after emerging from artistic struggles, prison, and addiction, 1995's Train A-Comin' finds an artist starting from scratch and returning to the very basics of his musical vision. The low-key, charming, all-acoustic support comes from veterans Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, and Roy Huskey, while Earle's original material dates as far back as 1974--he wrote "Mercenary Song," he notes, while still working at Ciraco's Pizza. The mix of covers--Beatles, Townes Van Zandt, and the "Jamaican hillbilly" of "Rivers of Babylon" (with Emmylou Harris chiming in)--proves he had one primary listener in mind: himself. With no expectations thrust upon him, no labels involved, and very few at the time bothering to listen, Earle mined a raw gem. --Marc Greilsamer


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 28, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002NAV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Steve Earl opens the album by declaring: "This here's the 'Hometown Blues' with apologies to Thomas Wolfe and Doc Watson," and then presents the listener with the warmest and perhaps most personal album of this country renegade's career. It had been four years since his last studio album, 1991's The Hard Way, and almost a decade since his 1986 debut Guitar Town. For this comeback effort, Earle strips things down to the roots. The band consists of a Who's Who of country, folk and bluegrass musicians: Norman Blake (guitar, Dobro, fiddle, mandolin and Hawaiian guitar), Peter Rowan (mandolin, mandola, gut string guitar and vocals), Roy Husky (accoustic bass) and Emmylou Harris (vocals). The album is a mixture of originals like "Mercenary Song" and "Ben McCulloch," and covers like Townes Van Zandt's "Tecumseh Valley" and a wonderful version of the Beatles' "I'm Looking Through You." If you enjoyed Earle's 1999 collaberation with the Del McCoury Band on The Mountain, you'll love Train a Comin'. In 1986 three artists released their debuts: Dwight Yoakam, Randy Travis and Steve Earle. I thought they would save country music. If they haven't succeeded, they at least have helped preserve its integrity. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Gemmill on February 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"This ain't my unplugged record!" Steve writes in the liner notes to this gem, originally released in '95. It's a collection of songs old and new, and a few covers, performed primarily on acoustic tours. There's nary a bad track; and the good ones... they'll haunt you long after the album's over. A case in point: "Goodbye." Emmylou Harris does a near-definitive version of it on her Wrecking Ball album, but here... Steve's understated vocals bypass the brain in favor of the heart, recalling all of the folks left behind but carried with us, still. For that song alone, this CD is a necessary addition to any self-respecting fan's collection; add in the story-song "Ben McCulloch," his masterful take of Townes' Van Zandt's "Tecumsah Valley" and his duet with Emmylou on "Rivers of Babylon"... this is one of those albums that you put in the CD player to listen to and end up listening to it two, three, four times in a row.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Train catches the essential Earle. Great musicians on this album. Fantastic stories, good music, wonderful "comback" compilation of old and new. I was priviliged to see SE in his first live show after getting out of the grey bar hotel at the Vic in Chicago. Still the best show I have ever seen. He was truely moved on several occasions and once had to turn his back to the crowd because of it. I have been to dozens of shows in my day but never experieced a show where they turned on the lights to the theater and turned on the recorded music, and nobody left. SE came on for a 4th encore and said " I don't know where your staying tonight but it can't be here, so I'll do one more and you got to promise to go". Well he went into a acoustic version of Someday and made everyones night. What a great album and eclectic talent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Stodder on June 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I only know Steve Earle thru "The Mountain" and this album. To me, he is the world's greatest folk and bluegrass musician...even though most of his albums are made with other instrumentation. I just see a guy who's loaded with talent and musical intent. He picks up a guitar, he opens his mouth, and what comes out is just perfect. The way this album starts up..."Hear that train a comin', hear that train a comin'..." Nothing could be simpler, and yet it comes out like the very spirit of music. "The Mountain" deserves 6 stars. This one gets a 5. Great.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David E. Palmer on January 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When this CD came out in the mid-90's, all-acoustic "unplugged" albums where artists re-recorded their greatest hits with acoustic instruments had become sort of a fad, thanks to MTV. However, if you are expecting something like that, you are in for a surprise. This is just a kick-ass, hard-country album, with (almost) all original songs. The only album I would compare this to would be Waylon Jennings' "Honky Tonk Heroes" -- which is saying a whole hell of a lot.
The only song on this CD which I could do without is "Rivers of Babylon", which is an attempt at some kind of country reggae. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can skip this track without having to pick a needle up and put it back down without scratching the record, or even having to mess around with a fast-forward button. Is the 21st century great or what?
If you like country music, or if you just like good music, don't pass this record up!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I read the current press commentary about Steve Earle, seems they've all 'discovered' the boy these days. Every danged one wants to tell us about Steve's 'bad habits' and his return from the hoosegow, full of musical vim and vigor. Then some will try to tell you his 1996 release 'I Feel Alright' was what got him back on the road to whatever. Them newshawks need to pay a little more attention. 1995's "Train A-Comin" was Steve's first post-hoosegow hightoned yowl, and it's still my favorite. Some of his best work is sprinkled around on this album, 'Sometimes She Forgets' done here the way it oughta be done (ignore anything you heard released out of Nashville). It echoes the theme of the haunting 'Tecumsah Valley',a legacy of the immortal Townes Van Zandt, Steve's friend and mentor. Musicians and backup vocals are top notch, not just good, maestro's. No more than needed, and doing what they do better'n anyone. We're talking Norman Blake here, and Emmy Lou in fine fettle. Back before those newshawks were paying attention, Steve hit the ground running in '95. What's more, just when he needed to let his pent-up music loose, his old fans needed to hear it. So if you were dozin', showed up late, or carry a presspass and need a fact-checker...don't miss that Train. She's a high bindin' juggernaut, and she'll ride you all the way on over to "The Mountain". That's a danged metaphor, and us hillbillies don't get to use them too often. I'll betcha Steve would get a kick out of it.
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