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Steve Earle & Del McCoury Band -- The Mountain (E Squared).  Oh boy.  Steve Earle is in a singer/songwriter league all to himself, and the Del McCoury Band plays bluegrass the way God and Bill Monroe meant it to be played.  Get 'em together and what have you got?  Earlegrass.  The music smolders underneath Earle's rugged, time-worn voice and Del McCoury's high tenor can shatter glass.  The musicians are peerless:  Jason Carter plays a scorching fiddle, and Ronnie McCoury's mandolin can be high-lonesome or high-octane at the drop of a hat.  Earle brings in Iris Dement to sing a duet "I'm Still In Love With You", and a host of friends, including Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris, to pay tribute to the late Roy Huskey, Jr. on the disc's closing number, "Pilgrim".  Earle has promised this is not going to be his only bluegrass album; let's hope he keeps his promise.  This is, in my humble opinion, Earle's best musical statement to date and easily the best release of the year.  Top Ten of 1999 Award Winner -TRS.

Track listing:

1. Texas Eagle (3:28)
2. Yours Forever Blue (2:28)
3. Carrie Brown (4:18)
4. I'm Still In Love with You (4:05)
5. The Graveyard Shift (2:37)
6. Harlan Man (3:20)
7. The Mountain (4:42)
8. Outlaw's Honeymoon (2:01)
9. Connemara Breakdown (2:17)
10. Leroy's Dustbowl Blues (3:04)
11. Dixieland (2:56)
12. Paddy on the Beat (2:00)
13. Long, Lonesome Highway Blues (2:56)
14. Pilgrim (5:28)

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