Country rock musician Steve Earle, along with his backing band The Dukes, have announced a new album titled Jerry Jeff. The project is intended to act as a tribute for late country singer Jerry Jeff Walker, who passed away in October of 2021. The album is set to release May 27 via New West Records.
In promotion of the new album, Steve Earle & The Dukes have shared their opening track for the project, a cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Gettin’ By.” Aside from offering the clear high quality modern production onto Walker’s 1973 track, Steve Earle has offered his own set of changes to the song, all while keeping his intention of honoring Walker clear. As the track opens, Earle sings “Hi buckaroos, Steve Earle again – I’m trying my best to Jerry Jeff Walker once more.” The production and musical arrangement changes made in Earle’s rendition of “Gettin’ By” create a very unique listening experience to the original, altering the mood and the tone substantially. This first release, one of the ten covers of Walker on the forthcoming project, presents itself as a very promising indication of the quality of Steve Earle’s Jerry Jeff.
Listen to Steve Earle & The Dukes cover Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Gettin’ By” via YouTube below.
In a statement, Steve Earle notes that the upcoming project will complete the set of projects he has made to honor his first hand teachers, following the albums he made after the deaths of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark in 2009 and 2019, respectively. Earle, who first heard Walker’s music at the age of 14, explains: “The records were recorded and released in the order in which they left this world. But make no mistake – it was Jerry Jeff Walker who came first.” See the album art and tracklisting for the upcoming project below.
Jerry Jeff Tracklist
1. Gettin’ By
2. Gypsy Songman
3. Little Bird
4. I Make Money (Money Don’t Make Me)
5. Mr. Bojangles
6. Hill Country Rain
7. Charlie Dunn
8. My Old Man
10. Old Road
Steve Earle & The Dukes have previously offered a concert in tribute of Earle’s late son, Justin Townes Earle, who passed away in late 2020.