Steve Earle performs at The Birchmere on July 20, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Steve Earle has been playing The Birchmere regularly for decades, since even before his debut album, 1986’s Guitar Town. He first visited the famed northern Virginia venue when he was playing bass in his mentor’s, Guy Clark, band. (Steve’s other mentor was the brilliant but deeply troubled songwriter Townes Van Zandt.) On Tuesday evening, Earle and his band, The Dukes (get it? it’s a pun on the early rockabilly song “Duke of Earl”) played the first of two nights at the club.
In the three and a half decades since the release of Guitar Town, Steve Earle has created a deeply respected and wide-ranging body of work. A self-described “cult artist,” his songwriting is held in the highest esteem by other writers, musicians, and artists. Although Steve may have left school after the eighth grade, his work is informed by a prodigious mind that delves incessantly into literature, history, and current politics. There’s a fearsome intelligence in his work, which has been noted by interviewers like Chris Shifflett, who has hosted Earle several times on his podcast, Walking the Floor.
Steve Earle (Photo courtesy New West Records)
Steve Earle & The Dukes pay tribute to Steve’s late son, Justin Townes Earle (J.T.), who passed away on Aug. 20, 2020, in Nashville with their new album J.T. The album was released digitally on what would have been Justin’s 39th birthday on Jan. 4, via New West Records.
On July 20 and 21, Steve Earle & The Dukes perform two nights of shows at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. (Buy tix for the first night OR buy tix for second night.)
Steve Earle performs at The Birchmere on May 20, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Steve Earle came out to introduce the show Monday night at The Birchmere. He welcomed the audience to the Guy Tour, and said he’d been looking forward to this for a long time. He told us we’d hear a lot of Guy Clark’s songs and a lot of his songs.
The Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys Park. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Red Wing Roots Festival, a family-friendly celebration of music, features kids events and activities and bike rides in the park. Red Wings V was held in Natural Chimneys Park on July 14-16.