Steve Earle: Kinder and Gentler?


Steve Earle

Allison Moorer and Steve Earle outside Electric Lady Studios in New York City's Greenwich Village. Ted Barron hide caption

itoggle caption Ted Barron

Steve Earle made his name as an angry young man, writing political country and folk songs while challenging the status quo. He seems a little less angry these days; topical material is still his stock in trade, but his subject matter has shifted to more personal territory. It may be because Earle is clearly in love — with a city and a woman. He called Nashville home for years, but Earle now lives in New York, and his affection for the city is apparent in his newest CD, Washington Square Serenade.

The new disc also reflects Earle's status as a newlywed (particularly on "Sparkle and Shine" and "Days Aren't Long Enough"). His bride, singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, contributes backup vocals, and the sound remains seamless throughout this session. Earle isn't about to abandon his passion for politics or social justice, but he may just be slightly "kinder and gentler."

More About Steve Earle

Steve 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 resulted in Washington Square Serenade, which he calls a collection of love songs to his wife and his new home.

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