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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Steve Earle

Tonight @ the Pabst Theater - 8 p.m.

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For years an outsider in traditional country music and Nashville songwriting circles, Steve Earle has seen his fanbase boom over the past decade, as an inclusive alt-country movement, nostalgia for outlaw country and demand for populist troubadours created a more obvious market for the renowned singer-songwriter. Produced by the Dust Brothers’ John King, the former Texan’s latest album, Washington Square Serenade, is one of his most personal. It contains a duet with his recent wife, Allison Moorer—who opens for his 8 p.m. show tonight at the Pabst Theater—as well as plenty of odes to his adoptive home city, New York, and a chugging version of the Tom Waits-penned theme to “The Wire.” On that HBO program, Earle, once infamous for his own drug problems, touchingly portrayed a bottomed-out, recovering drug addict.