Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $1.00 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Ghosts of West Virginia
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Ghosts of West Virginia
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
From the manufacturer
Ghosts of West Virginia
Ghosts of West Virginia centers on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history.
In ten deftly drawn, roughly eloquent, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle and his long-time band the Dukes explore the historical role of coal in rural communities. More than merely a question of jobs and income, mining has provided a sense of unity and meaning, patriotic pride and purpose.
Ghosts of West Virginia centers on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. When asked about what drove him to craft his deeply evocative new album, Steve Earle says, 'I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn't vote the way that I did,' he says. 'One of the dangers that we're in is if people like me keep thinking that everybody who voted for Trump is a racist or an a**hole, then we're f*cked, because it's simply not true. So this is one move toward something that might take a generation to change. I wanted to do something where that dialogue could begin.' In ten deftly drawn, roughly eloquent, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle and his long-time band the Dukes explore the historical role of coal in rural communities. More than merely a question of jobs and income, mining has provided a sense of unity and meaning, patriotic pride and purpose 'I said I wanted to speak to people that didn't necessarily vote the way that I did,' he says, 'but that doesn't mean we don't have anything in common. We need to learn how to communicate with each other. My involvement in this project is my little contribution to that effort. And the way to do that ' and to do it impeccably ' is simply to honor those guys who died at Upper Big Branch.'
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 5.55 x 0.39 inches; 2.12 Ounces
- Manufacturer : New West Records
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Date First Available : February 25, 2020
- Label : New West Records
- ASIN : B0851LLHM1
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It is nice to see that Steve still cares and writes for change and allows us to see how the same issues at any period in this country's history seem to resurface and resurface. Thanks Steve!
The first song on the album the a Capella - "Heaven Ain't Goin' Nowhere" ranks among his best. What an amazing singer songwriter.
I received the physical CD in the mail today. As a life long West Virginian I was pissed at Steve's quote decal on the packaging.
I would suggest that if you want to sell the album in WV you remove this sticker, and I probably voted the same way Steve did.
Top reviews from other countries
Now I am not questioning Earle's right to support a cause through his songs or even challenging his views, as a liberal I share many of his values, I applaud the causes he campaigns for, and admire the way he isn't afraid to speak out or be cowed; but fear that his artistic integrity and the quality of his output could be compromised by constraining his material.
So is the "Ghosts of West Virginia" a return to form? In parts yes, but I prefer Earle the heartland-troubadour to Earle the country-and-western-singer and this album contains elements of both Steve Earles and more.
Opening with Earle's gravelly growl on the call and response acapella "Heaven Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is an interesting start but unfortunately it's not really to my liking, nor is second-up "Union, God and Country" which is far too country and western for my tastes; however track three "Devil Put The Coal In The Ground" is more like my kind of Earle with its up tempo jaunty blues. "John Henry Was A Steel Drivin' Man" continues the up tempo beat although this version of the John Henry story has too distinctive a country square dancing swing to it for my tastes. Then the mood and tempo changes with "Time Is Never On Our Side" a beautiful classic simple ballad Steve Earle troubadour style and my favourite track so far.
"It's About Blood", a heartland punk blues, is both the centrepiece and highlight of the album and is dedicated to the victims of the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion. It starts with Earle half-singing/half-speaking the heart on his sleeve lyrics and finishes with Earle reading the names of the 29 miners who were killed in the disaster. This is Earle back on top form, he's angry and he shows it, he has something to say and he demands to be heard; this is the Steve Earle I admire.
However "If I Could See Your Face Again" is not my thing at all, sung by Eleanor Whitmore it's the epitome of everything I dislike about Grand Ole Opry country and western music and by the third run-through I have started skipping this track.
Things look up with the last three tracks, "Black Lung" an angry number in a power ballad format in which Earle expresses his solidarity with miners at large through the eyes of a miner with pneumoconiosis, an incurable but entirely preventable illness caused by inhaling coalmine dust; "Fastest Man Alive" is a tribute to Chuck Yeager and sees Earle channelling Springsteen Western Star style, [it's not linked to the mining disaster but Yeager cams from West Virginia]; and closing track "The Mine" is a ballad reminiscent of the younger Steve Earle circa "Exit O" although the voice gives away the thirty plus years since then.
And that's it, some very good, some good and some I don't want to hear again, in short "Ghosts of West Virginia" leaves me conflicted.
Steve, you were drinking in the last chance saloon, I don't dislike "Ghosts of West Virginia" enough to call time on our relationship but there's too much variety making it inconsistent and it doesn't come close to your best, go away and to listen Lucinda Williams "Good Souls Better Angels" to hear a sixty-something, liberal, country veteran, at her angry best and maybe next time it will be back to five stars. But this time it's three stars (but that's one better than last time).
The Ramones and Tom Petty's first albums did..
This doesn't, some good songs but none that are going to linger over time.