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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Gigs - Steve Earle - Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Star rating - 8/10

I strayed intrepidly last night from my normal ballad inspired Americana fare into the more guitar based rocking legend that is Steve Earle. He is touring with his band The Dukes and Duchesses, and he is clearly having a great time.

The set lasted well over two hours, and included most of his excellent current album The Low Highway, with assorted gems from his bulging back catalogue to delight the audience at the lovely Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. His band include Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson, who part from being a fine fiddle player and brilliant guitarist for Earle, comprise The Mastersons, who opened the night as support. 

The New Orleans inspired new songs from Treme are untypically upbeat, the loveliest being Love's Gonna Blow My Way, and After Mardi Gras. And old time favourites were also there to avoid disappointing the faithful. Guitar Town rocked the joint; Galway Girl was suitably rousing; and a partially solo My Old Friend the Blues retains its power to move. 

Earle feels this is the best band he has ever played with, and their rapport is there for all to see. He wears his beliefs and social conscience on his sleeve, which is refreshing, and is not afraid to open up personally about his three year old autistic son, John Henry. His elder son Justin Townes will always be number one for me, but this was a brilliant display from the father. He ended the rip roaring night with The Revolution Starts Now - if only.

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