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Copperhead Road is a real road in East Tennessee where moonshine was made and two generations later, marijuana was grown. The song tells the story of a soldier who returns home from Vietnam and starts trafficking marijuana.
Copperhead Road is a highly acclaimed album that came after an interesting year for Earle: he spent New Year's Day of 1988 in a Dallas jail charged with assaulting a policeman, had to deal with various legal and business issues, and at one point had a message on his answering machine that said, "This is Steve. I'm probably out shooting heroin, chasing thirteen-year-olds and beatin' up cops. But I'm old and I tire easily, so leave a message and I'll get back to you." He also married his fifth wife around the time the album was released.
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