Black Music Matters Festival
 Sign up for newsletter
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.