Listen: At Home With WEXT - Steve Earle
"I love theater. That's what I do is baseball and theater. Those are the two things I spend money on. I get to hear plenty of rock and roll. I see my friends play at festivals and stuff, but I don't go out to see music much in New York. I go to see plays and musicals and I go to see the New York Yankees play baseball."
Both of Steve Earle's passions as well as his adopted city are presently on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. "We're going to go right back out next summer and tour to support this record and I'm not going to release another one 'til I can get these people's stories told", talking about Ghosts of West Virginia, the three-time Grammy winning artist's 17th studio album. It centers around the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. In ten deftly drawn, roughly eloquent, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle and his long-time band the Dukes explore the historical role of coal in rural communities.
"Coal Country", the play from which the album was made from, is on hiatus. Earle hopes he and the play can return to New York City when things settle down.