Steve Earle Tours Townes


Steve Earle & Townes Van Zandt
Steve Earle is hitting the road in support of Townes (May 12 / New West Records), his highly anticipated follow up to the Grammy Award winning album Washington Square Serenade. Townes is already garnering critical acclaim, receiving 4 stars in Uncut and 8 out of 10 stars in Spin Magazine which claims that "...he does his idol justice." In the current issue of Best Life Magazine, Anthony DeCurtis stated that the album is "Beautiful and scarifying." Beginning May 11, Earle will embark on a promo run, stopping in major U.S. markets including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Earle will be both live on the radio and performing and signing at special in-store events at local record shops (see schedule below). Earle can also be heard doing an interview with Melissa Bloch on NPR's All Things Considered during release week and seen on The Tavis Smiley show on May 13.

The proper headline tour will kick off in Portsmouth, NH on May 28 taking him through North American cities including Philadelphia, DC, Atlanta, Nashville and Houston with a west coast run added this fall. Full tour routing is below.

Townes, a 15-song set is comprised of songs written by Earle's friend and mentor, the late singer-songwriter, Townes Van Zandt, was produced by Earle at his home in Greenwich Village, at Sound Emporium and Room and Board in Nashville, TN and The Nest in Hollywood, CA. The track "Lungs," was produced and mixed by the Dust Brothers' John King and features Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine/The Nightwatchman/Street Sweeper on electric guitar. Earle's wife, the acclaimed singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, is featured on backing vocals on "Loretta" and "To Live Is To Fly." Three songs cut in Nashville, "White Freightliner Blues," "Delta Momma Blues," and "Don't Take It Too Bad" feature a bluegrass band consisting of Dennis Crouch, Tim O'Brien, Darrel Scott and Shad Cobb.

The songs selected for Townes were the ones that meant the most to Earle and the ones he personally connected to (not including selections featured on previous Earle albums). Some of the selections chosen were songs that Earle has played his entire career ("Pancho and Lefty," "Lungs," "White Freightliner Blues") and others he had to learn specifically for recording. He learned the song "(Quicksilver Daydreams of) Maria" directly from Van Zandt, and taught himself "Marie" and "Rake" specifically for the album's recording. Once a song he played during his live show, Earle relearned "Colorado Girl" in the original Open D tuning that Van Zandt played it in. Earle recorded the New York sessions solo and then added the other instruments later on in order to preserve the spirit of Van Zandt's original solo performances to the best of his recollection.

When speaking about Townes, Earle stated, "This may be one of the best records I've ever made. That hurts a singer-songwriter's feelings. Then again, it's some consolation that I cherry picked through the career of one of the best songwriters that ever lived."

If Earle's reading of "Lungs" doesn't scare the shit out of you, check your pulse:

Sunday, May 10: Seattle, WA
Live on KEXP-FM at 2PM
Monday, May 11: Seattle, WA
Live on KMTT-FM at 3:15PM for Mountain (KMTT-FM)
Live in-store performance at Easy Street Records Queen Anne store @ 6PM
Tuesday, May 12: Portland, OR
Live on KINK-FM at 3:30PM
Live in-store performance at Music Millennium @ 6PM
Wednesday, May 13 Los Angeles, CA
Live in-store performance at Amoeba Music @ 7PM
Thursday, May 14: San Francisco, CA
Live on KFOG-FM at 1PM
Live in-store performance at Amoeba Haight at 6PM
Friday, May 15: Denver, CO
Live on KBCO-FM at TBD
Live in-store performance at Twist & Shout at 6PM
Saturday, May 16 Houston, TX
Live in-store performance at Cactus Record @ 5PM
Monday, May 18: Austin, TX
Live on KGSR-FM at TBD
Live in-store performance at Waterloo Records @ 5PM
Wednesday, May 20 NYC
Live on WFUV-FM at 12:00PM

May 28 / Portsmouth NH / The Music Hall
May 29 / Boston MA / Berklee Performance Center
May 30 / Albany, NY / Swyer Theater
June 2 / South Orange NJ / South Orange PAC
June 4 / Princeton NJ / McCarter Theatere
June 5 / Vienna VA / Wolf Trap Filene Center (with John Prine)
June 6 / Charlottesville, VA / Paramount Theatre
June 7 / Princeton, WV / Mountain Stage
June 9 / Richmond, VA / The National
June 10 / Carrboro, NC / Carrboro Arts Center
June 12 / Atlanta, GA / Atlanta Botanical Garden
June 13 / Savannah, GA / Fine Arts Auditorium
June 14 / Jacksonville, FL / Florida Theatre
June 16 / Knoxville, TN / Bijou Theatre
June 18 / Houston, TX / Crighton Theater
June 19 / Austin, TX / Paramount
June 20 / New Braunfels, TX / Whitewater Ampitheatre
June 21 / Dallas, TX / Lakewood Theatre
June 24 / St. Louis, MO / Pageant
June 25 / Chicago, IL / The Vic
June 26 / Bloomington, IN / Buskirk-Chumley Theatre
June 27 / Cincinnati, OH / Memorial Hall
** additional dates to be announced

[Published on: 5/6/09]

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