Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Steve Earle -Winnipeg March 10, 2008

The last time I saw Steve Earle in concert was at the 2006 Winnipeg Folk Festival playing the main stage solo acoustic and the previous time was ten years ago with his band the Dukes at the (then) Walker Theatre. This visit to the Burton Cummings Theatre (former Walker) saw Steve share the stage with an unlikely partner. I know what you're thinking, it's his wife opener Allison Moorer right, well yes and no, she did come out and provide some vocals and some guitar on 3 songs, but his DJ Neil McDonald spent half the show on stage behind Steve. If you've heard Earle's latest album, Washington Square Serenade you'll notice there was no Dukes and didn't exactly sound like Nashville, instead it was Earle's urban New York sound, his new home. McDonald provided beats and percussion along with some scratching and sampleswith mixed results.
  • The evening began with a short, but sweet set from opener Allison Moorer. I previously saw Moorer at the 2006 WFF also performing a solo acoustic set. I have listened to her two most recent albums and they are quite good, if you like that female singer-songwriter genre, but I would really like to hear her with a band next time. I don't know if she works with just studio musicians or she has a band, but I think she performs solo because it's easier for her and Steve to tour together...practically and financially.
  • The first nine songs Steve performed solo playing guitar, mandolin, steel guitar and harmonica. A nice mix of older songs (My Old Friend The Blues, Someday) along with some late 90's fare (Billy Austin, Tom Ames' Prayer).
  • Mid-set included the DJ and concentrated on his Washington Square material as Earle played 11 of the tracks from the album. It seemed strange at first and I'm sure the Steve Earle purists out there that still regard Earle as country we're both surprised and possibly disappointed. Personally it took me a song or two to get used to the DJ, but all in all it was well received and provided an upbeat tempo to the show. It wasn't as if Steve was playing synths or keyboards, he still played the guitar, mandolin, steel guitar and harmonica over the backbeats. During the concert some of the beats seemed too loud for the mix, but when I listened back to the show it sounded well balanced and well suited.
  • The encore consisted of crowd pleasers such as his first hit, Guitar Town (I still have a GT t-shirt from the Exit-O tour somewhere...?), Jerusalem and Copperhead Road. He dedicated Little Rock 'n' Roller to his father who passed away late last year..very touching.
  • A very enjoyable show, he played for over 2 hours. One of the best concerts I ever went to was during the aforementioned Exit-O tour when he performed at the Playhouse (Pantages) Theatre in the late 80's. Earle and the Dukes completely rocked the place, a long show that after the second encore when half the people left the building already, Earle and the Dukes returned for a third encore...magic! After that I kind of considered Steve Earle a Texas version of Springsteen. One of the greatest singer-songwriters and hardest working musicians around!
STEVE EARLE Burton Cummings Theatre March 10, 2008
(complete uncompressed show @ Dimeadozen)

Devil's Right Hand
Tennessee Blues (w/ DJ McDonald)
Jericho Road (w/ DJ McDonald)
City Of Immigrants (w/ DJ and Allison Moorer)
Guitar Town
Copperhead Road

ALLISON MOORER (complete show @ dimeadozen)
Dancing Barefoot (Patti Smith cover)

If you are interested in the complete show, let me know. I'll see what i can do.


Pat said...

hey i came across your blog while looking for Steve Earle live in winnipeg 2008. i didnt manage to make it out the show. i must thank you for putting the mp3s up.

i am an audo geek as well. especially live music. i was wondering if there was a chance of getting the whole show UNCOMPRESSED .flacs or .shns ? let me know. thanks so much. keep recording! i think i may check out what i have as well for winnipeg recorngs perhaps i may have something you are interested in as well.


Jules said...

Any chance of a re-up please? TIA.

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