Steve Earle in concert, with a nod to Jerry Jeff

Steve Earle in concert, with a nod to Jerry Jeff

By Paul T. Mueller

Steve Earle’s August 31 show at Houston’s Heights Theater began with a seven-song tribute to one of Earle’s musical heroes, Jerry Jeff Walker. Fittingly, Earle opened with “Gettin’ By,” which happens to be the opening track of his latest album, Jerry Jeff, featuring 10 Walker songs, and also the first track on Walker’s iconic 1973 album ¡Viva Terlingua!.

Photo by Paul T. Mueller

Backed by his excellent band, Earle then did full justice to several more selections from Walker’s distinguished catalog, including “Gypsy Songman,” “Hill Country Rain” and, of course, “Mr. Bojangles,” which Earle said he had been singing since age 14. The band then moved into an 18-song retrospective of Earle’s own greatest hits, including “Someday,” “Guitar Town,” “Galway Girl,” “Transcendental Blues” and the classic “Copperhead Road.” All featured stellar instrumental and vocal support from The Dukes, most notably guitarist Chris Masterson and his wife, Eleanor Whitmore, on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and keyboards. After a hardly-worth-it break, the band returned for a 20-minute encore. Earle prefaced “Harlem River Blues,” written by his oldest son, Justin Townes Earle, with an alarming account of Justin’s death in 2020 by accidental overdose. That was followed by the exuberant “City of Immigrants” and an energetic take on the Grateful Dead’s “Casey Jones.” The two-hour show concluded with a lively version of The Band’s “Rag Mama Rag.” The night’s opener was The Whitmore Sisters, consisting of Eleanor and Bonnie Whitmore, plus Masterson, who’s married to Eleanor. The 30-minute set, drawn from the band’s recent album Ghost Stories, featured five original tracks and one by singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan.

Source link

Leave a Reply Cancel reply