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Steve Earle On World Cafe

Steve Earle
Steve Earle

So you wanna be an outlaw?

OK, that's not my challenge to you; it's the title of the new album by Steve Earle. His goal with the album was to channel Waylon Jennings, and he brought in some heavy hitters to help — like Willie Nelson and Miranda Lambert, who both sing on the album.

Earle's got stories, and you're gonna hear them in this World Cafe session. That includes the time he got a letter of support from Waylon Jennings when Earle was in prison and the time Johnny Cash gave him a compliment at a truck stop — not to mention the time he had one of country music's toughest singers pull a gun on him.

Earle is also a father and a grandfather who has been married seven times, including to singer-songwriter Allison Moorer. She's been a guest on World Cafe, and so has Earle's son, Justin Townes Earle. We'll talk about Earle's views on love and family; about raising his youngest son, who is autistic and largely nonverbal; and how all of it feeds into Earle's music.

We start with a live performance of the title song on Earle's latest album. Stream the complete session in the player above.

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