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From the Country Standard Time Archives

Steve Earle delights in Spain

Lonja medieval, Sos del Rey Católico, Spain, Aug. 14, 2003

By Jordi Pujol Naldal

Sos del Rey Católico, SPAIN - Years of waiting to see Steve Earle playing Spain was worth the wait: his first acoustic show in Sos del Rey Católico ( a nice historical village in the pre-Pyrenees (Aragón region) ( was a total success.

The concert was located in an ancient market dating from the XII-XIII century (Lonja medieval), a magnificent space for intimacy between artists and the audience, and who could think of a better place to see Earle playing solo? Earle sang and played extremely well, and the sold-out crowd of 350 responded by giving him standing ovations.

Earle began his two-hour show with "Feel Alright," and during a satisfying 28-song set he performed songs from all of his albums, alternating old songs, fan favorites and standards like "Someday," "Devil's Right Hand," "Copperhead Road" and "Guitar Town." Highlights included a breathtaking performance on "The Mountain" and an unexpected old number "Angry Young Man."

He found room for bluesy songs ("Hometown Blues") and Celtic-inspired numbers ("Dixieland"), and he did a wonderful job with Townes Van Zandt's " Rex's Blues."

Special mention goes for the closing "I Ain't Ever Satisfied" on which the audience did a surprisingly good job providing the harmonies under the singer-songwriter's directions.

The only downer was that Earle didn't tell stories in between songs, joking "you won't understand what the ---- I'm saying.," and the pieces came too fast.

With the only accompaniment of an acoustic guitar, a supply of harmonicas and occasionally mandolin, Earle, who has an honesty and integrity that is rare these days, was at his best, delivering first class material with passion and intensity.