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The Greatest Disappointment In Country History, Steve Earle, On Tour

Rock stars get religion, country stars get politics. Steve Earle was the greatest country rocker of em all from 1986 to 1997 -right through Guitar Town and Copperhead Road thru five years of shooting junk and prison and silence till Train-A-comin’ and magnum opus, perfectimundo I Feel Alright till he found fighting the gun laws wasn’t enough for him and around the time of El Corazon added lefty politics to his arsenel. It worked OK on El Corazon because singing “Come back woody Guthrie” is always gonna find an audience with me and “Telephone Road” is as great as country gets at the worst of times.

The thing is while we’re all happy for Earle getting straight it wasn’t heroine that killed his ability to write songs. Earle could ruin his life and write a song in his sleep -Earle was tops. Saw him tons of times in the nineties, if he played I was there. There is no excuse for a songwriter of Earle’s possibility planting the dodgy The Revolution Starts Now and the terrible Washington Square Serenade on an audience who loves him.

Earle may have been many things but he was never boring and boring is the only words for his, long winded prosylytising, borne of his love for the over rated Van Zandt, self-important and inaccurate faith that he can get closer to the important things in life by banging us over the head with it. It was Earle who wrote “devil’s Right Hand” -did he forget how to make his point cleverly?

If the great Steve Earle wants to save the world it is easy for him to do, all Earle has to do is write songs as great as “Ain’t Ever Satisfied” or “Tom Ames” prayer. All Earle has to do to make the States safe for democracy is shut up and sing his songs.

Here’s a live dream Set List (I saw him do what pretty close to this in the mid 1990s at Tramps).
I Feel Alright
Guitar Town
The Devil’s Right Hand
Hardcore Troubadour
Sometimes She Forgets
Copperhead Road
I Still Carry You Around
Transcendental Blues
You’re Still Standing There
Yours Forever Blue
The Revolution Starts Now (occasionally he got the song right even if the politics were a snooze)
Tennessee Blues
Rex’s Blues (Van Zandt’s best song)
Telephone Road


2nd Encore
I Ain’t Ever Satisfied

Earle is heading out on the road, sometimes with Rhett Miller, a double bill that would’ve thrilled me to death seven years ago. No doubt my set list will look very little like his. Here is the Earle tour. The dates with an asteriks include Rhett Miller.

2009 Tour Dates
Oct 22 Rockefeller Oslo, Norway *
Oct 23 Ricks Bergen, Norway *
Oct 24 Savoy Teatteri Helsinki, Finland *
Oct 26 Storan Gothenburg, Sweden *
Oct 27 Filadelfiakyrkan Stockholm, Sweden *
Oct 28 Palladium Malmo, Sweden *
Oct 31 Fairfield Hall Croydon, UK *
Nov 2 The Sage Gateshead, UK *
Nov 3 Grand Theatre Leeds, UK *
Nov 4 Barbican London, UK *
Nov 5 Town Hall Birmingham, UK *
Nov 7 Corn Exchange Kings Lynn, UK *
Nov 9 Town Hall Galway, Ireland *
Nov 10 Town Hall Galway, Ireland *
Nov 11 Opera House Cork, Ireland *
Nov 13 Glor Ennis, Ireland
Nov 14 Royal Theatre and Event Centre Castlebar, Ireland
Nov 15 Millenium Forum Derry, Ireland
Nov 17 Olympia Dublin, Ireland
Nov 19 Effenar Eindhoven, Netherlands
Nov 21 Crossing Border The Hague, The Netherlands
Nov 22 Crossing Border Antwerp, Belgium
Nov 23 Oosterpoort Groningen, Netherlands
Nov 25 LKA Stuttgart, Germany
Nov 26 Columbia Club Berlin, Germany
Nov 27 Hirsch Nurnberg, Germany
Nov 29 Kammgarn Kaiserslautern, Germany
Dec 1 La Salumeria Della Musica Milan, Italy
Dec 2 Circolo degli Artisti Rome, Italy
Dec 3 Teatro Masini Faenza (RA), Italy
Dec 6 Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, UK
Dec 7 Concert Hall Perth, UK
Dec 8 Music Hall Aberdeen, UK
Dec 10 Ironworks Inverness, UK
Dec 18 The Concert Hall, New York, NY
Jan 23 The Orpheum Vancouver, BC, Canada w/Joel Plaskett
Jan 24 University Centre Farquhar Auditorium Victoria, Canada

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