Steve Earle -“the hardcore troubadour”- is a legend in rock and country music circles, and nearly as renowned for his politics as for his music. His 2002 album, Jerusalem, was a reaction to President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism.” The song “John Walker’s Blues,” about the captured American Taliban John Walker Lindh, provoked headlines around the world and much outrage; many accused Earle of sympathizing with terrorists. Earle himself called it “the most pro-American record I’ve ever made.” His album,Washington Square Serenade, combines songs of love and protest. It’s a tribute to his wife, singer Allison Moorer, and to his home in Greenwich Village, and its heritage of politically charged folk music. In this special John Adams Institute event, held on the afternoon of Earle’s performance at Paradiso, VPRO journalist Chris Kijne talked with Steve Earle about politics, music and the culture clash of moving from Nashville to New York City.
NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” featuring Steve Earle: