The last time Steve Earle graced the stage at The State Room, it was… interesting. It was a profanity-laden set with a more-crotchety than usual Earle leading the way through a career-spanning set of 30-plus songs.
At the time, two years ago, Earle was going through what was to be his seventh divorce and even the crowd could feel it—and if they listened carefully, he wouldn’t have let them forget it. “There is no direct correlation between the quality of the girl and the quality of the song” he said before launching into “Sparkle and Shine”—a song he wrote for his seventh wife, singer Allison Moorer. “And anyway,” he said, “These songs are all about me.”
But now he’s he’s had some time to get over the divorce, has apparently rebuilt a relationship with his son Justin Townes Earle, has given some good and (hopefully) cathartic interviews to the international press and has put out a new album.
He’s a brand new man.
Actually, don’t worry—he’s still Steve Earle. So he’ll still be cranky. And with Trump in office, I’d prepare for a political rant or two from the stage, too. Once I saw Earle at Snowbird and he told the crowd “They will take these mountains from you.” Perhaps he knew the cold, black heart of Mike Noel before anyone else.
A few basic rules will ensure you have a good time at his upcoming State Room show.
—Earle doesn’t cotton to people on their phones during his performances—stay off your phones.
—He doesn’t much care for chatter, so shut the heck up.
—And whatever you do, DO NOT shout out requests—he certain does not appreciate that.
—Oh, and enjoy it. Earle is one of the best living singer-songwriters. And a hell of a guitar player. The snark is just a bonus.
Steve Earle and the Dukes play The State Room on Saturday August 5. The show is sold out but you can get on the ticket wait-list here.