Steve Earle and the Dukes the Englert 8/7/12

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Steve Earle and his band the Dukes last played the Englert  in September 2011.  Although this time wife and band member Alison Moorer was absent. Steve told the audience that Alison and their son John Henry did not go on this leg of his tour to allow John Henry to be at home. Steve said that John Henry had taken his first steps at eight months on their tour bus. Steve dedicated  “Every Part of Me” to his wife.

It was evident that Steve missed his family, focusing on his music rather than his customary stories and political insights.  Steve did tell however share one story about the time as a teenager he and his friends scrapped up $8.00 each to attend a ZZ Top concert that included Wishbone Ash, Doobie Brothers and Fleetwood Mac. His refection on his youth segued into ” Telephone Road” from his 1997 record  “El Corazon.”

The twenty-four song set began with ” Waitin on the Sky” followed by “little Emperor” and “Mystery Train II.” ” My Old Friend the Blues” received  immediate crowd approval as did his signature “Guitar Town-Copperhead Road.” After a spirited “Meet Me in the Alleyway,” Steve announced that he and his band with Alison Moyer had just completed a new record in Nashville in five days.  He played two songs from the upcoming record, “Burnin’ it Down” and Calico County.” The record is scheduled for a February 2012 release.

Unlike his last appearance at the Englert, Steve played balls to the wall electric guitar on the remainder of his set, including “Taneytown,” “Trobadour” and “The Revolution Starts… Now.” In 70’s feedback fashion he closed the set with “Unrepentant” where he and lead guitarist Chris Masterson placed their guitars in front of the amps allowing the final strains of the song to resonate in the theatre. Steve kneeled infront of his pedals and guitar effects orchestrating the mesmerizing strains of their final chords.

After a short break the band returned for an encore which included the Bob Dylan penned “It Takes  A lot to Laugh and a Train to Cry.”Following the show Steve and his band meet with fans, signed autographs and basically hung out for over an hour.

The only thing missing was Alison Moorer, who over the years has been an inspiration for Steve. I am confident that she and Steve will return to the area, because like said, “Alison is still a member of the band.”

The Mastersons opened.

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