Wednesday, January 9, 2019
– Steve Earle & The Dukes will return with "GUY," a tribute to Guy Clark, on March 19 on New West.
The 16-song set is comprised of songs written by one of his two primary songwriting mentors, the legendary Guy Clark. "GUY" appears 10 years after his Grammy Award winning album "Townes," his tribute to his other songwriting mentor, Townes Van Zandt.
Produced by Earle and recorded by his longtime production partner Ray Kennedy, The Dukes are Kelley Looney on bass, Chris Masterson on guitar, Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle and mandolin, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel guitar and Brad Pemberton on drums and percussion.
Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Terry Allen, Jerry Jeff Walker, Mickey Raphael, Shawn Camp, Verlon Thompson, Gary Nicholson and the photographer Jim McGuire all guest on the disc.
Earle first met Guy Clark after hitchhiking from San Antonio to Nashville in 1974. A few months after his arrival, he found himself taking over for a young Crowell as bassist in Clark's band.
"No way I could get out of doing this record," said Earle. "When I get to the other side, I didn't want to run into Guy having made the 'Townes' record and not one about him."
"Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark were like Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to me," he said.
"When it comes to mentors, I'm glad I had both," said Earle. "If you asked Townes what it's all about, he'd hand you a copy of 'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' If you asked Guy the same question, he'd take out a piece of paper and teach you how to diagram a song, what goes where. Townes was one of the all-time great writers, but he only finished three songs during the last 15 years of his life. Guy had cancer and wrote songs until the day he died...he painted, he built instruments, he owned a guitar shop in the Bay Area where the young Bobby Weir hung out. He was older and wiser. You hung around with him and knew why they call what artists do disciplines. Because he was disciplined."
"GUY wasn't really a hard record to make," Earle said. "We did it fast, five or six days with almost no overdubbing. I wanted it to sound live...When you've got a catalog like Guy's and you're only doing 16 tracks, you know each one is going to be strong."
The first single and lead off track is "Dublin Blues" is out today on NPR along with a nearly 30-minute conversation between Earle and NPR's Bob Boilen for an edition of All Songs Considered.
"You know," he said, "as you live your life, you pile up these regrets. I've done a lot of things that might be regrettable, but most of them I don't regret because I realize I couldn't have done anything else at the time. With Guy, however, there was this thing. When he was sick -- he was dying really for the last 10 years of his life -- he asked me if we could write a song together. We should do it 'for the grandkids,' he said. Well, I don't know...at the time, I still didn't co-write much, then I got busy. Then Guy died. and it was too late. That, I regret."
The track list is:
1. Dublin Blues
2. L.A. Freeway
3. Texas 1947
4. Desperados Waiting For A Train
5. Rita Ballou
6. The Ballad Of Laverne And Captain Flint
7. The Randall Knife
8. Anyhow I Love You
9. That Old Time Feeling
11. The Last Gunfighter Ballad
12. Out In The Parking Lot
13. She Ain't Going Nowhere
14. Sis Draper
15. New Cut Road
16. Old Friends
Tour dates are:
Jan. 11th - Boston, MA City Winery
Jan. 12th - Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena (Willie Nelson's 85th Birthday Celebration
Jan. 14-15 - Chicago, IL City Winery
Jan. 17th - Nashville, TN City Winery
Jan. 18th & 19th - Santa Rosa, FL 30A Festival
Jan. 20th - Atlanta, GA City Winery
Jan. 22nd - Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
Jan. 23rd - Boston, MA City Winery
Jan. 24th - New York, NY City Winery
Jan. 25th - Washington, DC City Winery
Jan. 27th - 1st - Outlaw Country Cruise
Feb. 10th - Boston, MA City Winery
Feb. 11th - New York, NY City Winery
Feb. 12-13 - Washington, DC City Winery
Feb. 15th - Atlanta, GA City Winery
Feb. 16th - Nashville, TN City Winery
Feb. 17th - Cincinnati, OH Ludlow Garage
Feb. 19th - Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall
Feb. 21st - Dallas, TX Kessler Theater
Feb. 22nd - Houston, TX The Heights Theater
Feb. 23rd - Austin, TX The Paramount (Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame)
Feb. 25-26 - Chicago, IL City Winery
Feb. 28th - Albany, NY The Egg
March 1st - Rockport, MA Shalin Liu Performance Center
March 2nd - Ithaca, NY Hangar Theatre
June 29th - Owensboro, KY Romp Festival * with the Dukes
July 18th - Bala, ONT Kee To Bala * with the Dukes
September 3rd - 6th - Big Indian, NY (Steve Earle's Camp Copperhead)