Colvin & Earle | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Colvin & Earle

Colvin & Earle

Alexandra Valenti

When: Fri., Aug. 5, 8 p.m. 2016
Price: $39-$67
Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle met in 1987 when they shared a bill in Northampton, Massachusetts, and they’ve remained friends since. Not only both poetic singer-songwriters, they’ve both experienced plenty of tumult during their careers—including wrecked marriages and substance abuse—and have managed to land on their feet time and time again. Following a 2014 joint tour where they told stories and played songs alone and together, Earle suggested they make a record. The recent Colvin & Earle (Fantasy) includes a couple of songs about love that endures through thick and (mostly) thin. “No matter what you do / No matter what you say / I’ll come back to you,” they both sing in raw harmony on the opener, “Come What May,” while a similar magnetic attraction—one that survives rugged individualism—shines through on “The Way That We Do.” Things don’t always turn out so well, however, as the relationship between star-crossed lovers implodes on the original “You’re Right (I’m Wrong).” The album was masterfully produced by Buddy Miller, who accentuates the texture-rich twill of the two voices and gets a wonderfully meaty sound from guitarist and old-school Earle sideman Richard Bennett, bassist Chris Wood, and drummer Fred Eltringham—the rootsy heft belies the occasional low-key vibe of some of the covers. Together they tackle “Ruby Tuesday,” while Earle goofily sings the final line of the chorus, “Still I’m gonna miss ya,” as though he can’t help slathering on his outsize twang. More successful is the pair’s version of the lovely Emmylou Harris song “Raise the Dead.” For this performance Colvin and Earle return to the duo format.
— Peter Margasak
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