Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tonight @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
For years an outsider in traditional country music and Nashville songwriting circles, Steve Earle has seen his fan base 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. He further expanded his profile with a small but unforgettable supporting role on HBO’s “The Wire,” where the singer once infamous for his own drug problems touchingly portrayed a bottomed-out, recovering drug addict. Earle returns to the Pabst Theater tonight behind his latest CD, Townes, a 15-song homage to his mentor and primary influence, Townes Van Zandt. "If there had been no Townes Van Zandt, there would be no me," Earle told the Shepherd Express.