Steve Earle and The Dukes

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Steve Earle and The Dukes

Steve Earle and The Dukes

Posted: 25 May 2013

Steve Earle and The Dukes

The Sage Gateshead

23 May 2013

 

Steve Earle has earned the right to sing the blues after a career in the turbulent music business that has spanned close to three decades and a turbulent life to match.

He’s been dubbed the godfather of the alternative country scene, but that is selling the breadth of his work – with its myriad influences such as folk, rock, bluegrass and Celtic sounds – somewhat short.

He has just released a new album, The Low Highway, which features some cracking new songs that show he has still got what it takes.

At his gig at the Sage Gateshead, backed by a strong band in which husband and wife team Chris Masterson (guitar) and Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle) excelled, he delivered a solid two-hour set which showcased his new work and his extensive back catalogue.

The show opened with songs from the new album including The Low Highway with its gentle country feel and upping the tempo with 21st Century and a rocking Calico Road.

Other highlights were Guitar Town from 1986, Copperhead Road and the bluegrass number Warren Hellman’s Banjo.

The set – in which I counted at least 20 numbers – sashayed through bayou, blues and Spanish-influences, and touched hearts with songs dedicated to the stricken city of New Orleans.

Galway Girl drew the biggest cheer of the night but, for me, he saved the best until last with three encores: the poignant Remember Me dedicated to his three-year-old son, the superb My Old Friend the Blues and finally Happy Sunday.

In summary, a classic night of stellar songs from a troupe of impressive performers, not least the Grammy-Award-winning leader of the pack, Mr Earle himself.

http://steveearle.com


Anne Graham

 

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