Steve Earle has released a brand new song, “Times Like These” (Acoustic Version). The new track, recorded last week, was originally written at the beginning of the Trump Presidency with Earle intending it for his next studio album. He was then approached by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, a playwright team who would create ‘Coal Country’, a play with music written and performed by Earle based on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in West Virginia in 2010.
The seven songs he wrote and performed in the play lead his new album Ghosts of West Virginia. While recording the record at New York City’s legendary Electric Lady Studios, Earle and his band The Dukes recorded a version of “Times Like These.” The full band version of the song will be released as a limited edition 7-inch single on Record Store Day’s special “RSD Drop” on Saturday, August 29th. Its cover art was painted by Steve Earle.
Opening to critical acclaim on March 3rd at the Public Theater in NYC, ‘Coal Country’ was cancelled after only two weeks due to COVID-19. Despite its abbreviated run, Earle has received a nomination in the “Outstanding Music in a Play” category for the 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards. Originally scheduled for May 31st, the online ceremony was postponed to June 13th in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests.
Ghosts of West Virginia is out now.