Label: Bloodshot Records
On her Bloodshot debut -- full of distorted guitar, racing banjo lines and unaffected adoration of middle-finger-flipping mid-'90s alt-country -- Lydia Loveless' penchant for ranch, booze and rock 'n' roll is as timeless as her music is refreshing. On one tune, she rages through an alcoholic bender and contemplates atheism; on another, she channels Loretta Lynn and guzzles cheap wine. "Steve Earle" is all about how the godfather of alt-country keeps making pervy advances. And could you blame him? Loveless is the spunky, spirited kick in the ass that Earle's genre has needed for a generation.