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Transcendental Blues

4.3 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 19, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


After Steve Earle redrew a handful of musical maps with 1997's El Corazon, it was surprising to hear the troubadour team with Del McCoury on the unabashed bluegrass set The Mountain. In truth, El Corazon paved the way for Transcendental Blues. Here Earle returns back to the sprawl of El Corazon. There's Spartan, yearning folk in "Over Yonder," boot-scooting 'grass on "Until the Day I Die," and ear-pinning rock on "Everyone's in Love with You." Earle rescues the connection between Ireland and American traditionalism with the mandolin-driven "Galway Girl" and even seems inspired by fables with "The Boy Who Never Cried." Earle shows again and again that he's a consummate indexer, demonstrating how American music crisscrosses distinct styles. As a singer, Earle is alternately snarly, wispy, guttural, and earnest. In short, he's able to shake the ear with a fresh musical twist and then settle the listener with all the broad-minded smarts he's relied upon since his mid-'90s comeback. --Andrew Bartlett

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Transcendental Blues
  2. Everyone's In Love With You
  3. Another Town
  4. I Can Wait
  5. The Boy Who Never Cried
  6. Steve's Last Ramble
  7. The Galway Girl
  8. Lonlier Than This
  9. Wherever I Go
  10. When I Fall
  11. I Don't Want To Lose You Yet
  12. Halo 'Round The Moon
  13. Until The Day I Die
  14. All Of My Life
  15. Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 19, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: April 19, 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Indieblu Music
  • ASIN: B00004S9AN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,520 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm beginning to believe the answer is no. "Transcendental Blues" is his fifth release since getting clean and sober. I believe that it, and its predecessors, constitute the most impressive body of work by an American artist over the past 10 years. There's not a doggie among the 15 incredibly diverse tracks on "Transcendental Blues." Earle explores musical styles ranging from Irish folk ("The Galway Girl") to garage rock ("All of My Life") to Byrdsian country rock ("I Don't Wanna Lose You Yet") to bluegrass ("Until the Day I Die"). The disc closes with "Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song)", a heart-wrenching recounting of a condemned man's final hours that was inspired by a 1998 execution that Earle witnessed at the request of the condemned man. It is a testament to Earle's songwriting ability that, despite his well-publicized opposition to capital punishment, the song is not the least bit preachy and comes off as much more than a simple anti-death penalty polemic. Well done, Steve. Keep 'em coming!
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Format: Audio CD
The first Steve Earle album I bought was Copperhead Road. It was good, and what I was happiest about with it was that I was sure that I would never need buy a Steve Earle record again.
Then somewhere along the way I lost it, and rather than replacing it I picked up Ain't Ever Satisfied instead, a greatest hits collection that included the best material from Copperhead Road, as well as a great deal of songs from Guitar Town and Exit O. I became aware of how much I had been missing from this artist, but now that I had the greatest hits collection, hey, I'd never need another Earle album again.
Then I bought a Steve Earle songbook that included a lot of the material that I already had, but also included a handful of songs from albums I didn't. After learning the songs - and quickly appreciating their quality and craft - I picked up I Feel Alright and Train A'Comin. Great stuff, even if now my Steve Earle collection was taking up more space than I originally had planned. Still, now my collection was complete.
Then I heard a co-worker's stereo down the hall a few years ago. I liked what I heard and asked: it was Earle's collaboration with the Del McCoury band, THE MOUNTAIN. Wth no hesitation, I prompptly went out and bought it. Whew...
I've gone on long enough, you know where this going by now: I finally bought Transcendental Blues, and am absolutely blown away. The number of standout songs on here is one thing, but the performances are stellar as well: the attack and bite of "Everyone's In Love With You", the drum pattern on the beautiful "Lonelier Than This", the Pogues-like "The Galway Girl" (Shane Macgowan would KILL to write a song this good these days), the her-honey-to-his-vinegar duet on "When I Fall".
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Format: Audio CD
Well, I guess these days I just get a little bit nervous every time a new Steve Earle album comes out. One of these days, he is going to prove to me that he is mortal, and going to release a dud. Fortunately, this is not the album, and it starts to make me wonder, when am I going to find anyone else that can ever compare to the great man. Transcendental Blues continues to carry me on the roller coaster ride I have been on, ever since I was lying on my bedroom floor at the tender age of 16, and heard Copperhead Road make it's way out of the radio. In the early nineties, I was defintley getting worried, when Steve vanished from our lives, but he popped up in '95 with a little masterpiece, and he has kept the 'pedal to the metal' ever since. His music is able to strike a chord with you, & TB continues in this vein. Steve's Last Ramble & Galway Girl would fit perfectly in any of the Irish theme pubs here in Melbourne, while All of my Life & Everyones In Love With You, can rock it with the best of them. These songs are great to get peoples attention, but it's song's like Lonlier Than This, that really take you to another level. This is where the music communicates with you, in all it's simplicity, and basically becomes your friend and confidante. It goes without saying, that the album covers a myriad of styles, which means you never become tired of listening to it. If you want music to listen to , while you're having a few beers, or when you are home alone without your loved one, or when your cruising the highways, or when you're loooking for inspiration, just throw this in the CD player - it will do the job, and then some.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Any fan of Steve Earle and alternative country music in general should buy this album without hesitation. I have listened to this album in its entirety about 20 times since I purchased it a few days ago. Each track on the album is a unique work of art. As he has done on all of his albums since 1995, Earle manages to equate a wide variety of musical styles to produce a compelling collection of songs. From the upbeat rock 'n roll songs of "Everyone's in love with you," "Wherever I Go," and "Another Town," to the Irish rooted track "Galway Girl," Earle proves that he is truly in his musical prime. In "The Boy Who Never Cried," Earle uses Christian inspiration and Eastern musical influences to crank out a tune that is one of the album's best. I'm glad to see that this album currently ranks as #5 on Amazon's best-sellers. Do yourself a favor and buy the album.
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