- Personnel: Steve Earle (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, harmonium, organ, Mini-Moog synthesizer); Emmylou Harris, Siobhan Maher Kennedy (vocals); Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (guitar, background vocals); John Jarvis (electric piano); Mike Bubb, Kelley Looney (bass); Kenny Malone,
- Will Rigby (drums, percussion); Patrick Earle (percussion); Dane Clark (loops).
- Recorded at Room & Board, Hermitage, Tennessee and Cowboy Technical Rig, Brooklyn, New York.
- JERUSALEM was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
- For a singer-songwriter who proclaims himself "somewhat to the left of Mao" it's no surprise that Steve Earle has drawn the ire of the right for challenging the status quo, particularly around the one-year anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. The bone of conention on his 2002 outing JERUSALEM is "John Walker's Blues," a moody, mid-tempo number that attempts to explore the reasoning behind "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh's actions. It triggered a wave of knee-jerk reactions accusing Earle of being everything from the second coming of Hanoi Jane to a washed-up anti-American opportunist.
- Conservatives will likewise scoff at his trenchant commentaries on illegal immigration (the Augie Meyers-flavored Tex-Mex shuffle "What's A Simple Man To Do") and the transformation of baby boomers from idealistic revolutionaries to self-absorbed merchants of greed (the chugging rocker "Amerika v. 6.0 [The Best We Can Do]). Earle brifely changes gears to duet with Emmylou Harris on the gorgeous lament "I Remember You," and wields a Dylanish harmonica and twangy guitar to end on a high note with a closing title track that optimistically awaits the coming of peace to the Middle East.
Rolling Stone (10/02, p.68) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...His most strident work in years...Earle's vocals are raw and blunt throughout."
Spin (1/03, p.73) - Ranked #36 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year"
Spin (11/02, p.123) - "...Ominous and subdued country rock..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/4/02, pp.150,153) - "...[His] most boisterous work in some time...indulging in dark, rumbling twang, drum loops, a hint of R&B [and] Springsteen-style organ..." - Rating: B+
Q (12/02, p.66) - Included in Q Magazine's "The 50 Best Albums of 2002."
Q (10/02, p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Most of the music here finds Earle in admirable form..."
Uncut (1/03, p.95) - Ranked #21 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
Uncut (11/02, p.115) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Empathetic and compelling...Earle is revelling in a searingly creative purple patch: he jasn't sounded this corrosive since [1988's] COPPERHEAD ROAD..."
CMJ (9/23/02) - "...There are some real gems to be discovered here....The title track is a reflective, political song that proves Earle has brains as well as heart..."