Steve Earle & The Dukes outran hurricanes to the south, and landscape-engulfing forest fires to the west to grace the stage of The Danforth Music Hall on Thursday night.  Earle and the band were in town to promote their latest release So You Wannabe An Outlaw, a record that he describes throughout the evening as a country album, but with plenty of electric.  It’s true, but best of all, the new music has plenty of the grit that the original masters of honky-tonk like Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Earle himself, are famous for.

The stage is full of musicians and instruments.  The sounds of acoustic and electric guitars, drums, fiddle, pedal steel, upright bass, and even an accordion fill the airwaves of the Music Hall.  Fans get treated to new and old gems alike with versions of “The Firebreak Line”, “News From Colorado”, and “Fixin’ To Die” from the new record, and classics “Guitar Town”, “My Old Friend The Blues”, and “Copperhead Road”.  The room is completely captivated when fiddle player Eleanor Whitmore sings alongside Earle during “I’m Still In Love With You”, her vocals pitch perfect and powerful, and during the encore, we get a fantastic cover of “Hey Joe” to change things up.

When all was said and done, Steve Earle & The Dukes entertained a capacity hall, that never thinned out, for a solid two hours.  The tour heads south into the United States and runs well into February so catch them if you can.  Dates and locations HERE.

Words and photos by Dave MacIntyre