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Interview:
Steve Earle's Riding A Winning Streak
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

After considering himself “the Susan Lucci of rock ’n’ roll,” Steve Earle is on a Grammy Awards roll.

The veteran singer-songwriter — a pioneer of the current Americana community after emerging as a country artist in the mid-’80s — broke an 0-for-11 drought in 2005 when he won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album for “The Revolution Starts Now.” He won the same category earlier this month with his latest release, “Washington Square Serenade.”

“It felt great,” says Earle, 53, who was suffering from a 101-degree fever the day of the Grammy ceremony while on tour in Germany. “It was a big surprise, I can tell you that.

“Anybody who tells you they don’t care about the Grammys...in my opinion, there’s something disingenuous about that. Anybody of my generation that grew up making music when I grew up making music wants to win a Grammy.”

Earle, in fact, would only be happier if he’d taken home a second Grammy — in the Best Country Collaboration with Vocals category, in which he was nominated with his wife, singer Allison Moorer, for “Days Aren’t Long Enough,” a track from “Washington Square Serenade.” Then again, to hear Earle tell it, just being married to Moorer is a prize in itself.

It’s the sixth of Earle’s well-chronicled marriages, but Moorer is the first who’s also a musician, a distinction that he acknowledges makes the relationship special.

“It’s hard ‘cause I’m not used to it,” Earle says with a laugh. The couple, in fact, moved to New York — though still has a home in Nashville — in order to be in “a place where neither one of us has a history.”

“Art takes up space in a house,” notes Earle, who’s currently producing Joan Baez’s next album and finishing a book, “I’ll Never Get Out of This World.” “We live in New York most of the time, and there’s just less space there. It’s been kind of a crash course in allowing some room for somebody else’s art.

“That’s got to be good for me. It’s not effortless, but it’s probably more positive than it is anything else. “



Steve Earle and Allison Moorer perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (March 5) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $30. Call (734) 668-8397 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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