Steve Earle has always been a man of burning convictions and social awareness. From the farmers' plight in "The Rain Came Down," the harsh reality of backwoods moonshine/drug runners of "Copperhead Road" and the hypocracy of lobbyists and politicians "Christmas in Washington," not to mention the lightning rod "John Walker's Blues," he has not been afraid to espouse a power-to-the-people consciousness.
To that end, Earle is making a two-track digital download of "Harlan Man" and "The Mountain" from his 1999 album The Mountain recorded with the Del McCoury Band. All profits will benefit The America Votes Labor Unity Fund via SaveWorkers.org.
Boasting the lyric, "I'm a union man, just like my daddy and all my kin/ I took a union stand, no matter what the company said/ I got me two good hands, and just as long as I'm able/ I won't give in," "Harlan Man" inhabits the psyche of a union miner facing the reality of corporate will versus human decency and dignity. "The Mountain" also considers the realm of union miners in a world that would see workers rights dismissed.
"Unions are a fundamental component of Democracy throughout the free world. All eyes are on Wisconsin," Steve Earle said in a release from his management company.
With many states -- including Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana -- looking to limit collective bargaining power, break unions and create new dynamics of power for American workers, the Grammy-winning songwriter felt it was important to come forward in a show of solidarity.
The American Votes Labor Fund is dedicated to uniting labor organizations, progressive groups and individuals to fight for workers in the world and in the media. Contributions to them -- and via this single -- are slated to help activist campaigns in 11 states: Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.
This fund serves as the fiscal agent of the AFL-CIO State Unity Fund, a special account directed by a broad coalition of national labor organizations dedicated to promoting fair labor-management relations in the private and public sectors as well as defending workers and their unions against state legislation, ballot measures and executive orders aimed at undermining or removing organizing and bargaining rights and unemployment standards.
The digital single is available now via iTunes.