We don’t wanna call country rocker Steve Earle a rabble-rouser because that might diminish the music itself. So let’s just say he’s got lot of heart and a fire inside to match, and if you’d like to get both at once, check out his recent song about burning down the Wal-Mart. Earle’s experimented a lot during his long career, but he’s always come from a spare and honest place, and while a term like “disciple” is so rarely appropriate, Earle was as close to a disciple of the great Townes Van Zandt as there ever was. This is musicianship as sharp instrument, in service of writing that’s as much reporting as storytelling, and like Iris DeMent, his songs reveal the personal and the political as the exact same thing. He plays tonight with Shawn Colvin, sharing the stage to trade songs and tales all night.
Sat., May 24, 8 p.m., 2014