AOTY 2021

Ghosts of West Virginia

Steve Earle & The Dukes - Ghosts of West Virginia
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2020 Ratings: #166 / 821
User Score
Based on 34 ratings
Liked by 1 person
May 22, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Americana / Genres
Steve Earle / Primary Artists
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Steve Earle has never been one of my favorite singers up to this record. He opens Ghost of West Virginia with an acapella gospel that takes me right into this timeless tale of rural blue collar hell. Maybe I can anticipate this one that much because my familiar background is partly rooted in coal miners coughing at the dinner table. Nonetheless the stories and most of all Earle´s restrained singing enter the Johnny Cash territory of his late recordings. A record Bruce Springsteen never ... read more
Steve Earle is a legend in the history of alt country. Albums like Guitar Town and political bangers like Copperhead Road made him an outlaw legend. This new record hits some of the marks, but leaves a little to be desired. Steve still knows how to spin a yarn, but it doesn't really feel like his heart is completely into it. Quality songs like Time is Never On Our Side see Steve nearly just speaking over a somewhat bare sonic template so his lyrics are on full display. I just wish they had the ... read more
Standouts: Union, God and Country, Devil Put the Coal In the Ground

Steve Earle is an American singer-songwriter that has been writing and recording songs in the country, rock and folk genres since his breakthrough debut Guitar Town back in 1986. Earle is known for his controversial songs and his outspoken views on the death penalty and war. On his most recent project Ghost of West Virginia, Earle focused on an entire concept of the lives of coal miners in West Virginia and how tough that kind of life can be. Throughout this excellently presented set of songs, ... read more
Steve Earle & The Dukes - Ghosts of West Virginia

Genre: Americana
Country: US

Final Verdict: 49% (Average Album)
Yearly Ranking: 515th / 579

Highlight: Devil Put the Coal in the Ground

Made me think of:
Justin Towne Earle
John Hiatt
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
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Track List

  1. Heaven Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
  2. Union, God and Country
  3. Devil Put the Coal In the Ground
  4. John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man
  5. Time Is Never On Our Side
  6. It’s About Blood
  7. If I Could See Your Face Again
  8. Black Lung
  9. Fastest Man Alive
  10. The Mine
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Added on: February 27, 2020