The man who “…learned a thing or two from Charlie, don’t you know…” is about to bring what he has learned from a lifetime of writing and performing to the Port Theatre stage.
But fans of Steve Earle might want to re-calibrate their ears in preparation for Earle’s performance, who has come a long way from Copperhead Road in 1988 and will showcase his past musical successes and songs from his new album, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.
I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, released in April, was three years in the making and gets back to the fundamentals of American country, blues and folk. The album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, is Earle’s first collection of original material since Washington Square Serenade was released in 2007.
Sample tracks from I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive are themselves alive with influences from Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and other artists of the era inspired by the blues revival that changed the course of American folk and rock in the late 1960s. The compositions are rich and bolstered by Earle’s recording style, in which, as in Meet Me in the Alleyway, he weaves the sounds and ambience imparted to the music by the recording technology of the era.
Other songs featured on the album include God is God and I Am a Wanderer, which Earle wrote for Joan Baez in 2008, This City, written for the HBO series, Treme, which Earle appeared in as an actor, and Heaven or Hell, a duet with Earle’s wife Allison Moorer.
“They are all, as far as I can tell, about mortality in one way or another; death as a mystery rather that a punctuation mark or at least, a comma rather than a period,” Earle says in the album liner notes.
Earle also released a novel by the same title. The story imagines the troubled life of Doc Ebersole as he is haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams, his former patient and friend.
Moorer and Earle’s electric band The Dukes are on the tour which started in Seattle and will have covered much of Canada and the U.S. by the time it winds up in Toronto in August.
Steve Earle performs with The Dukes, featuring Allison Moorer, perform at the Port Theatre, Tuesday (June 28). Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $47.