Steve Earle and the Dukes (and Duchesses) - UK/ Ireland autumn 2011 dates on sale now

Posted: 24th June 2011

Alt-country legend Steve Earle has been writing and performing for around 40 years and has, at times, been as renowned for his politics as his music although he usually combines the two.

When he first started performing, he was too young to play in bars and clubs so would perform in coffee houses, alongside anti-war protest singers with whom he found much common ground. It was the launch-pad for a career protesting against aggressive US foreign policy and of staunch opposition to the use of the death penalty in America.

Much of which has inspired and influenced his music; 'Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song)' was written about death row prisoner Jonathan Wayne Nobles with whom Earle had been in contact. At Nobles' request, the musician attended his 1998 execution.

The US conservative right also accused Earle of sympathising with terrorists when he wrote 'John Walker's Blues' about captured American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh. Most missed the point that speaking out against or about such issues was an act of great patriotism.

For the most part, his music - these love letters to the disaffected - continued to strike a chord and won him a great many fans and a vast number of awards, award nominations and film credits.

After more than a dozen studio albums, Steve Earle (with the Dukes - and Duchesses) will be bringing his latest material (from 2011's 'I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive'), his colossal back catalogue and four decades of political and social commentary back to the UK later this year.

Off the back of his 70-date 2011 US tour, Earle will be playing several dates in the UK in the autumn, starting at Cardiff's St David's Hall on 24th October, at the Royal Festival Hall the following evening, then Glasgow York, and Birmingham's Symphony Hall on 31st October before crossing the Irish sea and heading to the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on 6th November.

Tickets for all shows are available now, prices starting at £28.50 (£30 for London).

Stewart Darkin