On the radio show Morning Becomes Eclectic a week or so ago, Steve Earle made an appearance and played some songs live off his new record, Washington Square Serenade. He has visited with Nic Harcourt numerous times over the years, and sounded relaxed and in a good mood. (Earlier this year he also appeared on World Cafe back east, and performed solo for an audience, also a nice performance.)
Talking with WXPN, he recalls his days in Nashville with Townes Van Zandt and other talents, "We were all folkies," he said. They had a tendency towards long hair, late nights, and other hippieish habits, he added. The powers that were in Nashville didn’t really want to see them become singer-songwriters, but considered them necessary — because they could write good songs. "
They sure could — Earle especially. Still can — and now, at long last, he shows off his folkie side. It’s great. As I said before, I think he’s pretty much the "next Bob Dylan" we’ve been looking for, even though we’ve all given up looking.
"My job was invented where I’m living," he said. "I’m living on the same street where Bob Dylan and his girlfriend Suzie Rotello were photographed for his first record. It’s a pilgrimage of sorts for me. This is a record of love songs for Alison and New York City."
Before this record, I respected Steve Earle (who can play as well as write) but didn’t especially like his work. This record has changed all that for me. I look forward to seeing him play some day, although I’m going to have to wait — he won’t tour until he can hit the road with his wife, Alison Moorer.