The brigade bare their teeth...

STEVE EARLE and THE HANDSOME FAMILY are amongst the alt country stars who have contributed tracks to a new compilation to raise money to fight the death penalty in the US.

They feature on ‘The Executioner’s Last Songs Vol. 1 – (Pine Valley Cosmonauts & Guests)’, set for release on Bloodshot Records on May 25. The record, which sees artists play their own tunes as well as covering those by Hank Williams, Cole Porter, Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, will raise funds for the Illinois Death Penalty Moratorium Project. Earle especially is a well known anti-capital punishment activist.

The tracklisting runs:

‘Knoxville Girl’ – Brett Sparks (Handsome Family)

‘I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive’ – Rosie Flores

‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ – Dean Schlabowske

‘The Snakes Crawl At Night’ – Janet Bean

‘Tom Dooley’ – Steve Earle

‘The Hangman’s Song’ – Puerto Muerto

‘Pardon Me (I’ve Got Someone To Kill)’ – Lonesome Bob

‘Poor Ellen Smith’ – Neko Case

‘Miss Otis Regrets’ – Jenny Toomey

‘Judgement Day’ – Johnny Dowd & Jon Langford

‘Great State Of Texas’ – Chris Ligon

‘Sing Me Back Home’ – Edith Frost

‘Oh Death’ – Dianne Izzo

‘Hanged Man’ – Rick Cookin’ Sherry

‘The Plans We Made’ – Jon Langford & Sally Timms

’25 Minutes To GO’ – Frankie & Johnny Navin

‘Idiot Whistle’ – Tony Fitzpatrick

‘Walls Of Time’ – Paul Burch

For further details see

In related news, The Handsome Family have added a second London to their upcoming UK tour after the first sold out in days.

The husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks will now play the Hammersmith Lyric on April 16 as well as 15. The tour kicks off in Swansea at the Patti Pavillion on April 13.