Steve Earle is ready to explain himself. Not that he’s about to apologize for “John Walker’s Blues,” the grimy ballad in which he crawls inside the head of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” serving 20 years for fighting with al-Qaeda’s favorite former Afghan regime.
…”This is the most pro-American record I’ve ever made,” argues the 47-year-old singer, who first threw cold water on the Nashville establishment in 1986, with the release of Guitar Town, his bracing country-rock debut.
For this ardent opponent of the death penalty, patriotism is best expressed through dissent. “I grew up during the Vietnam War, and whenever I see a flag decal,” he writes in Jerusalem’s liner notes, “I subconsciously superimpose ‘America – Love It or Leave It’ across the bottom stripe.”
Read the rest in this Dan DeLuca piece.