Steve Earle & the Dukes

Moving to Nashville to become a songwriter in 1973, Steve Earle's endless tales of hell-raising and heartache have made him one of America's great outlaw troubadours, but his records and live shows throughout the years have usually been at their most rocking and raucous when accompanied by backing band The Dukes. Earle was originally born in Virginia but grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and took up the guitar at nine after being inspired by Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. A rebellious teenager with a nose for trouble, Townes Van Zandt became Earle's first mentor and he cut his teeth playing bass in Guy Clark's band at 19, before catching a break when a publishing company hired him as a songwriter in 1980. He released his first EP 'Pink & Black' in 1982 with The Dukes, but it took until 1987 for the release of his debut solo album 'Guitar Town', full of rootsy rockabilly and heartland country, earning Earle a reputation as a talented, hillbilly, songwriting rebel. His success led tracks made earlier in his career with The Dukes being released as album 'Exit 0' and the band, led by steel guitarist Bucky Baxter and featuring Ken Moore on organ and synthesisers, John Jarvis on piano, Kelly Looney on bass and drummer Chris Wright, were credited on 'The Hard Way' in 1990 and live record 'Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator' in 1991. Although he faced down drug addiction, released a string of acclaimed albums in the 1990s and 2000s and even turned his hand to acting with a recurring role in HBO TV series 'The Wire', it wasn't until 2013's 'The Low Highway' that Earle resurrected The Dukes with a new line-up that included his seventh wife Allison Moorer and guitarist Chris Masterson. The Dukes also brought raucous honky tonk grooves and a twanging, Americana strut to his Texas blues album 'Terraplane' in 2015 and the Waylon Jennings-inspired 'So You Wanna Be an Outlaw' in 2017 and backed Earle on his tribute album 'Guy' in 2019, featuring the songs of his old friend Guy Clark.

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