Steve Earle has been writing and recording songs for over 4 decades. On Monday night, he brought those songs to the City Winery in Chicago's Fulton River district.
This was my second night in a row at the City Winery as I saw JD Souther the night before. Earle and Souther share a Texas upbringing and a talent for writing great music.
Steve Earle is as much a storyteller as he is a songwriter. Listening to his music you can hear the influences of his old friends Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. Between songs, Earle would talk about his life and his music and his romantic streak and his many failed marriages. He expressed a strong wit - in both his lyrics and his banter.
Every song was a joy to listen to as he moved effortlessly from blues to country to Irish folk songs. It was just him and his guitar or mandolin (and sometimes harmonica) but that was enough. A packed theater appreciated all he brought.
Now in his 60s, Earle continues to make music and to tour constantly.
And to make audiences happy.