For Immediate Release
7 January 2014
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
The father of alt-country, live in concert
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — A trailblazer of alt-country, a protest singer of fiery commitment, a songwriter of towering ability — Steve Earle is an artist of expansive talents. He’s here at MASS MoCA, a sack full of Grammy Awards and his gravelly, impassioned voice in tow, for a solo show just before the release of Terraplane, his new album of swampy, southern-stomp blues. Steve Earle plays the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 7, at 8pm.
The now-legendary Earle has always done what he wanted: he taught himself guitar at the age of 11, and at age 14 attempted to run away from home to follow his musical idol, Townes Van Zandt. Two years later, he dropped out of high school and moved to Houston with his 19-year old uncle, where he finally met Van Zandt, eventually becoming his protégé.
Earle released his first full-length album, Guitar Town, in 1986, when he was 31. The record shot to the top of the charts, and the phrase “new country” was coined to describe the unchartered waters Earle’s music explored. His blend of rock, folk, and country was unlike anything anyone had heard before, and quickly became his trademark sound. Success continued through 1990, when he released a compilation of early tracks, an album on which he collaborated with his future backing band, The Dukes, and a solo album, all of which were quickly swaddled in popular buzz and critical acclaim.
By the early 1990s, however, Earle’s struggles with addiction began to take a toll on his career, and he took a hiatus from music; it wasn’t until 1994 that he began writing again. It would be a 1994 in-house album produced by his former manager that would set the stage for his comeback, as Earle used his trials and tribulations with the law, politics, love, and addiction to fuel his powerhouse songwriting.
Now just as renowned as his role model, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle is a vaunted singer-songwriter who is considered a founding father of alt-country and contemporary folk-rock. He’s a protest singer in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and a rock legend in the tradition of Keith Richards. His songs have been covered and recorded by the likes of Carl Perkins, Emmylou Harris, and Johnny Cash. His genre-bending, standard-setting music and lyrics have inspired a new generation of musicians, including his son, Justin Townes Earle, whose middle name is, of course, dad’s nod to his own musical idol.
Steve Earle returns to MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 7, at 8pm, in our Hunter Center. Fresh salads, hearty sandwiches, and burritos the size of your head — as well as thematic dinner specials — are available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar serves Berkshire Brewing Company beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $22 for students, $22 in advance, $28 day-of, and $36 for preferred seating. Members receive a 10% discount. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am – 5pm Wednesdays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through spring 2015. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased on-line at massmoca.org.
This concert is supported by the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA and Berkshire Gas.
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s spring 2015 events are available through this link: http://bit.ly/1ByVwVx.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.
MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally beginning spring 2015. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.