Steve Earle released I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive in 2011 via New West Records and was rewarded with his highest UK chart position to date, No. 28. The album is the follow up to the Grammy Award winning 2009 release Townes. The new 11-track set was produced by T Bone Burnett and is Earle's first collection of original material since his 2007 Grammy Award winning, Washington Square Serenade. Writing for I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive began three years ago, the longest span of any song cycle in Steve Earle's career. The first two compositions were God Is God and I Am A Wanderer, two songs written by Earle for Joan Baez' 2008 album, Day After Tomorrow (which Earle also produced). The album also includes the celebrated song This City, written for the HBO Original Series, Treme, in which Earle also appears as an actor.
This year, Earle will be reprising his role of Harley during many episodes of Treme's second season. This City features horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint and has garnered a Grammy Award Nomination in the Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Category. Additionally, the song also garnered Earle's first Emmy Award nomination in the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Category. I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive also features Heaven or Hell, a duet with Earle's wife, the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Allison Moorer.
A protege of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Earle is a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one of the country charts and immediately established the term New Country. What followed was an extremely exciting and varied array of releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), the minimalist beauty of Train A Comin (1995), the politically charged masterpiece, Jerusalem (2002) and the Grammy Award Winning albums The Revolution StartsNow (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007) and Townes (2009). I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive is Steve Earle's 14th Studio Album and shares the same name with his 2011 debut novel. Of the novel, Patti Smith stated, Steve Earle brings to his prose the same authenticity, poetic spirit and cinematic energy he projects in his music. I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive is like a dream you can't shake, offering beauty and remorse, redemption in spades. Earle also produced the Grammy nominated album, Day After Tomorrow, by the legendary Joan Baez in 2008.