Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Steve Earle is coming to Emory
this weeknot to showcase his musical talents, but to highlight
his first published book of short stories.
Earle will be at Emory on June 11 for a reading and booksigning
of Doghouse Roses, which is making its paperback debut. The
event is sponsored by Emory Bookstores and will be in 207 White
Hall at 6 p.m.
Earle, whose music is a meshing of rock and country, has recorded
10 albums that have garnered him eight Grammy nominations, including
one for the Best Contemporary Folk Album (2000s Transcendental
Blues). Last year marked the initial release of Doghouse
Roses, which was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews from
The New York Times Book Review, Kirkus Reviews and
from novelists such as Jay McInerney and Michael Ondaatje.
The 11 stories in Doghouse Roses are made from the same
ingredients that have defined Earles music: political philosophies,
drug addiction and the semantics of interpersonal relationships.
Writing a book looks to be a natural extension of Earles
songwriting talents. During his early days in Nashville, Earle worked
for RCA writing songs for artists including Carl Perkins and Johnny
Lee. He showcased his own singing and songwriting abilities with
his 1986 solo release, Guitar Town. Other recordings, like
Copperhead Road, Train a Comin and Transcendental
Blues, have continued to earn Earle rave reviews and accolades
across musical genres.
Some critics have called Earle the heir apparent to Hank
Williams, which fits in more ways than one. Like Williams,
Earles musical talents are stunning, and also like Williams,
Earle has fought his share of addictions. In the early 1990s, Earle
was convicted for possession of narcotics and served a short stint
in jail. Unlike Williams, Earle kicked his drug habits and came
back to impress the music industry with more than just his musical
Although Doghouse Roses was published last year, its true genesis
is in the early 1990s when Earle began writing what has become Wheeler
County, a story in his new book, he told The Boston Herald
in an interview.
I started it thinking it would be a good novel. But my life
was falling apart at that time. I pawned the computer it was in
and never backed it up, Earle said. When I got out of
rehab, I reconstructed it from memory and found it was a short story.
Wheeler County, which tells the tale of a hitchhiker
stranded in a small Texas town, joins 10 other stories thatlike
one of Earles albums-revolve around varied themes and
sorts of people. In Doghouse Roses, a musician and his
wife embark on a drug-fueled road trip in search of romance, while
The Reunion details an unlikely bond between an American
Vietnam War veteran and a Vietnamese colonel.
Earle has become a vocal opponent of the death penalty, a theme
that has been incorporated into songs and now in prose with The
Witness. The story is about a husband witnessing the execution
of his wifes killer, and in a somber and gothic manner shows
how death and justice dont always go hand-in-hand. Like any
Earle writes about what he has seen, and his firsthand witness
of the execution of a Texas convict is vividly recalled in the precise
details of The Witness.
The stories in Doghouse Roses are not Earles only non-songwriting
efforts; he has written most of a three-act play about executed
Texas inmate Karla Faye Tucker, in addition to 366 haikus and the
beginnings of a novel.
With his talents now spanning across artforms, Earles music
fans can rest assured he is not abandoning music. This spring, Earle
released Sidetracks, a collection of unreleased outakes from
albums past. Hes also produced albums for other artists, contributed
songs to various movie soundtracks, written songs with artists such
as Sheryl Crow, and he runs his own record label, E-Squared.
For more information about Earles upcoming visit to Emory,
call Druid Hills Bookstore at 404-727-2665 or e-mail email@example.com.