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Steve Earle Delights Windjammer Crowd with Stories in Songs

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Journeyman Singer Songwriter Offers Up His Material Alongside Several Rock Icons

Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer

40 years after he began touring and 35 years into a stellar recording career singer songwriter Steve Earle still has a lot to offer faithful followers. Backed by his band The Dukes, the Austin Texas native who currently hangs his guitar strap in New York wowed 500 plus fans from the beach stage at The Windjammer on Tuesday (June 21) night.

The author of several iconic songs including ‘Guitar Town’, ‘Copperhead Road’, and ‘Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left’, Earle has become a fan favorite with his mix of folk and outlaw country rock. Although it’s been a while (1984) since Earle’s graced the legendary Windjammer his show was well received, and even more welcome since he’s out not only in support of his own time-honored songs, but also embracing the iconic material of the late Jerry Jeff Walker.

Bonnie and Eleanor Whitmore aka The Whitmore Sisters opened the show offering up haunting sounds of their alternative Americana country music. Although Eleanor has a decade long history working alongside her husband Chris in The Mastersons, she and her sister joined together recently and are out in support of the debut album ‘Ghost Stories’. Their evocative and wistful six songs set the tone for the journeyman storyteller.

Steve Earle and The Dukes were no doubt the main attraction, and for over 90 minutes they did not disappoint offering up over twenty songs including four from Jerry Jeff right from the get-go, an icon he said was one of his dear friends and early mentors. Rather than hold out his two greatest gems near the end or during an encore, Earle served up extended versions of ‘Guitar Town’ and ‘Copperhead Road’ before the midway point much to the delight of the crowd.

Just as he was settling in, he sent out ‘You’re Still Standing’, ‘Goodbye’, and ‘Sparkle & Shine’, a few songs he admitted he may have written especially for the ladies. Hailing from the state of Texas, Earle said the only way to attract girls back in high school was to pick up the guitar, because he had little interest in playing football.

After a brief exodus Earle and The Dukes returned for a four-song encore. Aside from ‘City of Immigrants’ the closing set paid tribute to Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, and The Band, as he closed out the night with ‘Devil’s Right Hand’, ‘Casey Jones’, and the ever popular ‘Rag Mama Rag’.

Steve Earle may be 67 but aside from a few gray hairs he still brings with him a devil may care youthful attitude. His voice is still as clear and crisp as it was when he first began his music journery back in the early 1980’s, and he’s still a master on the six string and harmonica. No doubt the vibe he received from the audience was the reason he said he hoped to be back again next year. Mr. Earle, you and your bandmates are welcome anytime to The Windjammer.

 

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