Steve Earle: “This City”
Schertz, Texas native Steve Earle famously said that Townes van Zandt was “the best songwriter in the whole world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan‘s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” But Earle is a pretty darn good storyteller in his own right, and has been for a while now. He dropped out of high school as a 9th grader, and got his education at the alter of a famous trinity of Texas songwriters: Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell.
Earle has diversified his talents over the years. Along with his recording career, he’s also an actor (he’s appeared in both of David Simon‘s HBO dramas The Wire and Treme), producer, and writer.
Last month, Earle published his first novel, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive (named after a Hank Williams song), and released an accompanying LP, produced by T Bone Burnett. “This City” is the final track on the new CD, but was actually written for the TV show, Treme. The song has already garnered both Emmy and Grammy Award nominations.
Earle performed this version of the song in front of a live studio audience in KUT’s Studio 1A when he was in town for a book signing.