It’s hard to say exactly what’s the most impressive statistic about Steve Earle’s career. The singer-writer has released 15 studio albums. He’s a three-time Grammy winner, and has been nominated a total of 14 times. He cleaned up after a two-and-a-half decade heroin addiction to release a critically acclaimed comeback album entitled Train a Comin’ in 1995, and has been sober ever since. He’s been married seven times, including twice to the same woman.
Steve Earle and the Dukes
Oct 2 at 8 Clearly, Earle has been through a lot since he moved to Nashville from San Antonio as a 19-year-old and became a protégé of iconic tunesmiths Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. A thirty-plus year career has seen Earle pen songs that have been recorded by country luminaries like Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Emmylou Harris (whose version of Earle’s “Goodbye”—featuring Earle on guitar—ironically beat out Train a Comin’ for the Grammy in ‘96).
Recently he’s expanded his reach outside of music, publishing his first novel and acting in film and television, including a memorable stint of appearances on HBO’s modern classic The Wire. Perhaps most notable, though, has been Earle’s high profile political activism: his politically charged early 2000’s albums Jerusalem and The Revolution Starts…Now are informed by his staunch opposition to the Iraq War and the death penalty.
Following on the heels of his son Justin Townes Earle, who was just in town for MusicFest NW, Steve Earle brings his backing band the Dukes to the Aladdin Theater on October 2 in support of his newest studio effort, The Low Highway.