I've certainly heard of Steve Earle and know that he wrote the popular songs 'Galway Girl' and 'Copperhead Road'. But I didn't know much more about him. I knew what he looked like and yet I knew very little else. When I heard he was playing in Derry this summer, I knew I must see him. So when my sister gave me two tickets to his gig last week for my birthday I was well sorted!
Last night my sis and I set off for the long trip (3 miles) into Derry and our first Steve Earle gig. Instinct told us it would be good. Instinct could never have prepared us for just how good!
At 8.45pm Earle came onto the Derry stage. For almost two hours I was in awe of this hugely talented singer/songwriter. One man and his guitar, harmonica and mandolin was enough to fill this Derry stage. His music just kept on flowing. Songs such as 'Copperhead Road', 'Jerusalem', 'Train a Comin'', 'Galway Girl' and many more had the audience constantly wanting to hear more. But it wasn't just the music that had me captivated. It was Earle's storytelling that won the show for me. I was so impressed that before I entered the theatre I knew very little about Steve Earle, and yet I left feeling I'd just met a new friend. He became someone I want to meet and talk to about his life (and I will). He quite simply brought us on a personal journey with him.....his growing up, his marriages, his divorces (there's been many) and his jail term, his heroin addiction and most importantly, his music and his survival!
This multi talented chap engaged with the Derry audience throughout the night and it felt like we were sitting in the parlour listening and chatting to him. Such was the intimacy of the night. Such was the intimacy of Steve Earle!
Earle spoke a lot about his idol and friend Townes Van Zandt. He also spoke about David Broza and sang 'Jerusalem' in memory of all that is currently happening at present in Israel. His knowledge is enthralling and his storytelling mesmerizing. I wanted to know more, but the night had to end.
Steve Earle left a lasting impression on myself and many others last night. So much so that I now want to hear him again and speak with him. It may not be in the near future but I hope it will be so!