A highly welcome delivery in my mail this morning -- a copy of The Revolution Starts Now by singer/songwriter/activist/anti-landmine campaigner/personal idol Steve Earle.
It's a record put together in a hurry. As Earle explains in the sleeve notes:
But although it was recorded in haste, for my money The Revolution Starts Now is Steve Earle's best album since I Feel Alrght.
Steve Earle's music holds great personal significance for me. I had tickets to see him at Shepherd's Bush Empire on April 1st last year. In the event, I couldn't go because I was out in Iraq.
The day after the concert I had my run-in with a landmine.
A few days later, as I came round from the anaesthetic following my amputation, I demanded to listen to "I Feel Alright" on my Walkman -- an inaptly named album if ever there was, given the circumstances.
I played the title track again and again, drugged up to the eyeballs on morphine.