Earle is touring in support of his latest album, I’ll Never Get out of This World Alive, which features the Emmy and Grammy Award-nominated “This City,” popularized on the HBO series set in New Orleans, Treme; Earle also acts on the show in the role of Harley Watt. Earle is no stranger to fans of HBO’s bleak series, with his version of Tom Waits’ “Way down in the Hole” carrying the opening credits of the fifth season of The Wire. Earle also played recovering junkie Walon in the series, appearing in episodes in the first, fourth and fifth seasons.
A noted political activist, Earle brings a sense of righteous outrage and street justice to even his most contemplative work – a quality likely to make his performance in Woodstock feel all the more intimate. Moorer, a celebrated singer/songwriter in her own right, is an ideally suited foil to Earle onstage, and their fellow musicians ought to help make every seat in the house too hot to remain in.
It’s not unreasonable to expect to hear some of Earle’s past classics mixed with newer material in his set, with maybe a few covers here and there (Earle paid tribute to his friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt two years ago with the album Townes), but perhaps it’s best not to go in assuming anything. “He’s just putting it all out there, you know,” said Walon in the fifth season of The Wire. That sounds about right.
Steve Earle and the Dukes (and Duchesses) featuring Allison Moorer perform at the Bearsville Theater this Friday, September 2 at 9 p.m. Tickets go for between $40 and $60, with more information available at www.bearsvilletheater.com/events-calendar/steve-earle-friday-september-2-2011.