Steve Earle & The Dukes (Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff)
When legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle got to the “chick song portion of the show” recently, he told his audience at The Birchmere, “I’m not above repurposing a song.” Having had seven marriages to six different women, as well as various other relationships over the years, I can see why he’s had to do that. Everyone wants to know for whom these songs were written, but as he told the audience Wednesday night (and he has said on many other occasions), “They’re all about me.”
He’s also remarked, quite humorously — though he didn’t say it on July 20, “We used to make music for girls. Now we make it for nerds.”
Steve Earle (Photo courtesy the artist)
Singer-songwriter Steve Earle released a new album, Jerry Jeff, in May via New West Records. Now the famed troubadour and his band are on tour!
Catch Steve Earle & The Dukes at The Birchmere on Wednesday, July 20.
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.)
Billy Bragg (Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff)
Inspired by Billy Bragg’s recent Mother’s Day video release for his song “Can’t Be There Today,” City Winery and Billy are co-producing a special multi-artist Mother’s Day concert that will be broadcast on YouTube on Sunday, May 10.
Rosanne Cash placed as one of Mark Engleson’s top shows of the year. Read on to see who else made the cut. (Photo by David LaMason)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
Editor (again): After much consideration, the prolific Mark Engleson chose his top 10 shows for 2019.
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.
Shannon McNally performs at City Winery on Feb. 13, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Diners heading to City Winery in Ivy City recently to see the last performance of Steve Earle’s winter residency were treated to a wonderful musical appetizer. Singer/songwriter Shannon McNally warmed up the capacity crowd with a tasty 45-minute solo set of acoustic tunes from her catalog.
Steve Earle performs at City Winery in DC on Feb. 13, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Steve Earle is the godfather of Americana music. With his black vest, jeans, and long gray beard, he’s often said to look like an aging biker. But when I saw him at City Winery on Wednesday, I saw a bit of one of the main characters of one of his favorite novels, a sort of Texas Gandalf the Grey.
Steve Earle (Photo by Tom Bejgrowicz)
Steve Earle continues his residency at City Winery DC with two dates on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and Wednesday, Feb. 13. See the celebrated singer-songwriter in his element for one or both of these can’t-miss shows.