Steve Earle was awesome last night at the Gypsy Tea Room. He opened up with Amerika v. 6.0 and then played several more off of Jerusalem. They didn’t play much from Transcendental Blues but they did play a wide range of my favorites from just about every album I could think of.
The sound was great and the vocals were extremely crisp. They had two drum sets–one was more of a percussion setup which his brother Patrick played. They had an inverted garbage can Patrick played with a couple of mallets that went perfectly with Ashes to Ashes. Steve’s electric mandolin also sounded pretty cool.
An unexpected surprise was the opener, Garrisson Starr. I hadn’t heard any of her stuff but my friend Dave said her album last year was one of his favorites for 2002. She has a sweet voice with a Mississippi southern drawl. Her simple three-piece set up (Patrick Earle played the drums for her–they couldn’t bring their normal drummer for “financial reasons”)–was tight and commanded the attention of what is usually a bored and distracted pre-opener audience. The best part, though, was that Steve incorporated her into his own set. They sang together on a couple of goosebump-inducing duets.
He played two encores. The second one included two covers: Time (The Chambers Brothers) and Get Together (the Youngbloods). Both were crowd favorites.
I’d highly recommend catching a show if you’ve never seen him.