Steve Earle. i
Courtesy of the artist
Steve Earle.
Courtesy of the artist

Steve Earle: Newport Folk 2008

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/93226876/93228230" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Right from the beginning, Steve Earle channeled the spirit of Woody Guthrie, noting that we need him now more than ever. Out of all the artists at the Newport Folk Festival, Earle's invocation is the most appropriate — he certainly would have fit in well at the festival's inception. Here, he stood solo with an acoustic guitar, singing about downtrodden American characters and a desperate need for change.

Halfway through the set, Earle's wife and musical partner, Allison Moorer, joined him on stage. Moorer sang gorgeous harmonies with Earle throughout the concert's remainder, and led her own "Mockingbird" solo.

Earle made his debut in 1986 with Guitar Town and quickly turned out a string of country hits. At the time, he was often compared to Bruce Springsteen and widely viewed as a savior of country music. But after a four-year drought in the early '90s — the product of his drug addiction and imprisonment — Earle came back with a string of highly praised albums. His marriage to Moorer two years ago and his move to New York City have helped inspire Washington Square Serenade, which he calls a collection of love songs to his wife and his new home. The two now frequently share their song catalogs on stage together.

Set List
  • "Christmas in Washington"
  • "Taneytown"
  • "Goodbye"
  • "Tom Ames' Prayer"
  • "Sparkle and Shine"
  • "Days Aren't Long Enough"
  • "Mockingbird" (Allison Moorer solo)
  • "Tennessee Blues"
  • "Down Here Below"
  • "City of Immigrants"
  • "Satellite Radio"
  • "Way Down in the Hole"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Newport Folk Festival

From left: Rebecca Lovell, Elvis Costello, Glen Hansard, Conor O'Brien and Megan Lovell at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Josh Wool for Newport Folk Festival hide caption

toggle caption Josh Wool for Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival

Elvis Costello, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Hear Costello perform with several special guests, including Glen Hansard and Middle Brother.

Elvis Costello, Live At Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487843423/487843997" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

River Whyless performs at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Newport Folk Festival

River Whyless, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

The folk-pop band builds mountains out of sensitive harmony lines at the Newport Folk Festival.

River Whyless, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487320023/487374592" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joan Shelley performing at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Joan Shelley, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

"These are the smallest songs you'll hear at this folk festival," Shelley said of her set.

Joan Shelley, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487324284/487390566" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, with Matthew Logan Vasquez, perform at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

The rootsy soul band worked through simmering soul grooves and hip-swinging honky-tonk.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487235750/487261474" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ryan Adams performs at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Ryan Adams, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

The Newport favorite brought along some special guests for Saturday's most anticipated set.

Ryan Adams, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487235301/487257799" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

St. Paul & the Broken Bones perform live at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Listen to the rollicking soul band perform songs from its upcoming sophomore album, Sea Of Noise.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487150344/487170813" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Violent Femmes perform at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Violent Femmes, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Hear the off-again, on-again rock band's careening, playful acoustic set.

Violent Femmes, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487149521/487170600" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear perform at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

The mother-and-son duo radiated easy familiarity and sincerity during this charming afternoon set.

Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/429049449/434694125" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brandi Carlile performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Brandi Carlile, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Hear the folk-rock powerhouse perform candid, emotional songs from The Firewatcher's Daughter.

Brandi Carlile, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/429333796/434691259" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top