Steve Earle admits he had to face down a sense of intimidation when he realised latest album Terraplane was going to be a blues work.
Released this month, the 11-track title was inspired in part by the breakdown of his marriage in 2012.
Earle tells Jam: “The acoustic part I’m fairly comfortable with. The electric stuff is more intimidating – I knew Stevie Ray Vaughan, I know Charlie Musselwhite.
“My harmonica playing got better the last 10 years or so and this record I do it on a couple of songs.”
He reflects: “I just found myself writing the songs and I said, ‘Okay, this must be a blues record. It must be time to do this.’”
And he underlines the personal nature of most of his lyrics, citing the example of Better Off Alone from Terraplane. “There are girls out there that’ll say, ‘That song is about me.’ And I’m like, ‘No – they’re about me.’
“Some of them are exactly the truth, some of them aren’t. Some of them are totally made up by me at this moment in my life. So, yes, they have a connection to my divorce.”
Earle appeared on US TV this week, performing his track You’re The Best Lover That I Ever Had with his band The Dukes. Terraplane is on sale now via New West.