This is a snippet of the full excellent interview by Ray Wadell, published at Pollstar. A link to the full article is at the bottom of this post.
It’s June 1, which means it’s launch day of the 2022 tour for Steve Earle & the Dukes, with the first stop being the Princess Theater here. It’s also the first day on the job for new tour manager Cole Taylor, who escorts Pollstar to see the legendary singer/songwriter back-of-house, just prior to soundcheck. The vibe is chill, and Earle awaits in a production room, sipping on a bottle of Perrier and eager to get the conversation going so he can knock out the soundcheck, and begin in earnest a full tour in support of his May release, Jerry Jeff, the third in a trilogy of tributes to his mentors. The other two in the series would be Guy from 2019 and Townes from 2009, tributes to the great Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, respectively.
In a career marked by artistic triumphs and a somewhat chaotic personal history, Earle remains a creative force to be reckoned with 36 years after exploding into prominence with his debut 1986 album, Guitar Town, on MCA. Three more well-received records followed, including the landmark Copperhead Road, and Earle began to move up the venue headlining hierarchy. But as the next decade began, his bad drug habits, run-ins with the law, and lack of creative production led many to believe his run would be a short one.