Personnel: Steve Earle (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, harmonica); Mike McAdam (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar); Bucky Baxter (vocals, steel guitar); Ken Moore (vocals, organ, synthesizer); Harry Stinson (vocals, drums); Richard Bennett (guitar, electric guitar, 6-string bass); Emory Gordy (mandolin); K-Meaux Boudin (accordion); John Jarvis (piano).
Audio Mixer: Chuck Ainlay.
Recording information: Emerald Studion.
Photographers: Ron Keith; Jim DeVault ; Scott Bonner.
Unknown Contributor Role: Steve Earle.
This is the 1987 follow-up to Steve Earle & The Dukes' debut, GUITAR TOWN. Like its predecessor, EXIT O mixes toughness with tang, grit with passion, and social consciousness with rowdy fun. The Dukes were the perfect compliment to Earle's songs, as they were able to roar as well as weep. "The Rain Came Down" is a mid-tempo ballad that's suffused with the gorgeous wash of Ken Moore's organ playing on the choruses. The ensemble can also convincingly tackle a roadhouse rocker like "The Week of Living Dangerously" with guts and aplomb. The "woo-woo" vocals are a surprise out of the blue, and their contrast to the relentless of the surrounding playing can induce chills. Throughout, the sound is vivid and crystalline. Earle's vocals buzz through and around it all like crazy and elegant embroidery on an old blanket.