Between the opening title track and the reflective closing of “Remember Me,” The Low Highway is very much Steve Earle’s road record, and one that has seen many miles. Earle states in the album liner notes, “I’ve been on every interstate highway in the lower forty- eight states by now and I never get tired of the view. I’ve seen a pretty good chunk of the world and my well-worn passport is one of my most prized possessions, but for me, there’s still nothing like the first night of a North American tour; everybody, band and crew, crowded up in the front lounge, eating Nashville hot chicken and Betty Herbert’s homemade pimento cheese, swapping the same tired old war stories half shouted over the rattle and hum of the highway. And I’m always the last one to holler good night to Charlie Quick, the driver, and climb in my bunk because to me it feels like Christmas Eve long ago when I still believed in Santa Claus. God I love this.”
The Low Highway also features “Love’s Gonna Blow My Way” and “After Mardi Gras,” two songs Earle co-wrote with Lucia Micarelli, his co-star in David Simon’s original HBO Series Treme. Earle played a recurring character, Harley, a street musician who mentored Micarelli’s character Annie during the first two seasons. The songs were written specifically for the series and an additional song written by Earle for Treme, “That All You Got?” was performed by Micarelli’s character with the Red Stick Ramblers during the third season premiere. All three songs are included on the new album and appear in recorded form for the first time here. Earle’s previous composition written for the series, “This City,” garnered both Grammy and Emmy Award nominations in 2010.