Steve Earle and his current (perhaps best-ever) bunch of Dukes take on the songs from Earl's new album, Guy, with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. The tunes are all over the place and so is the band, offering maximum energy on such disparate entries as the bluegrass rave-up "Sis Draper" and talking blues memoir of "Texas 1947." Earle's raw vocal on the sweet, sad "That Old Time Feeling" is heartbreaking.
Earle didn't think making Guy paid off some debt to his deceased friend, Guy Clark (as if it really could). Like the Townes record, Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, and what endures. It's lucky for us that Earle remembers and honors these things, because like old friends, Guy is a diamond.