When Steve Earle was only 16 years old, he had already dropped out of high school in San Antonio and begun playing in coffeehouses and any bars he could sneak into. In Austin and Houston, the folk scene of the early Seventies was thriving, and Earle went looking for his place within it, tracing the winding and wrecked path of his idol, Townes Van Zandt.
Van Zandt's inspiration consumed the younger songwriter’s music and life, and helped propel him to national acclaim with the release of his first album, 1986’s Guitar Town
. Alcohol and heroin had taken everything away from Van Zandt by his arrest in 1993. More than a decade after his death, the spirit still lingers indelibly upon Earle.
Last year, holed up in his tiny New York City apartment, Earle began recording the long-planned tribute to his late friend and mentor. Between songs, the tape kept running as Earle would talk about Van Zandt, telling stories that have slipped from mere memory into legend, quietly baring the intimacy between Earle and Van Zandt that rings throughout his new album, Townes
Speaking from his home just outside of Woodstock, NY., which he shares with his wife Allison Moorer, Earle reflected back on his past with Townes and finally making the tribute album to him. Earle plays a special solo acoustic show tonight at the Paramount. Joe Pug opens. 8pm. Read More | Comment »