Steve Earle’s Oxycontin Blues

YMC loves himself some Steve Earle. He’s the type of “outlaw country” musician I can actually get behind. The guy’s a brilliant songwriter, endured his share of struggles, remained sober all while putting out an amazing body work.

I recall reading an interview with him back in 2008 where he expressed his distaste for homophobic tendencies of Nashville that caused him to move to New York.

“I need to be able to walk out of my door and see a same-sex biracial couple walking down the street holding hands,” he said. “It makes me feel safe.”

That line always resonated me. I find myself fortunate with the amount of social progress recently, but there was a time when I too thought I needed to relocate to satisfy my cultural desires. (Perhaps I probably should have, not quite certain.)

He’e never been one to back down from a good fight. While some artists may wear their heart on their sleeve Earl has always been the type to scream it from a bullhorn. He’s been a constant critique of capital punishment, calls himself a socialist and made a particularly amusing habit of criticizing the creme-filled remains of the country music industry.

“The guys just wanna sing about getting fucked up. They’re just doing hip hop for people who are afraid of black people,” he said recently. “I like the new Kendrick Lamar record, so I’ll just listen to that.”

Here’s one of my favorite songs from his Washington Square Serenade album about rise of the pharma-wonder-junky-creating-drug Oxycontin. You can download his album from iTunes here.