Legendary American singer-songwriter Steve Earle – who had to cancel a scheduled show in December last year due to an untimely bout of freezing fog – is to return to the isles for a solo date at the end of the summer.
The Virginian-born outlaw poet and one-time rabble rouser will appear at Clickimin Centre in Lerwick on Thursday 9th September after the weather prevented him from getting here six months ago, leaving 600 punters disappointed.
The September date is one of only five on a short tour of the UK and Ireland, with the only other Scottish gig taking place in Dunfermline the night before. It will be Earle’s second appearance in the isles, having previously played a sell-out gig at Clickimin back in 2003.
Tickets go on sale early next month and gig promoter Davie Gardner, of Atlantic Edge Music Services, said he was delighted Earle had made the effort to return to the isles after the disappointment of last year’s cancellation.
“Steve was genuinely really disappointed last time around when we had to cancel and vowed he would come back as soon as possible,” Mr Gardner said. “He got a booking to play one festival in Ireland, so specially put together four other dates in the UK, including us, in places and venues he really wanted to play – so that should make this particular gig all the more special.”
Earle has a substantial following in the isles having first sprung to attention with his 1986 debut album Guitar Town and its anthemic title track and accompanying hit Hillbilly Highway.
The side-effects of fame, however, took their toll and by the mid-1990s he wound up in jail on drugs and firearms charges having developed a debilitating heroin addiction. He has since cleaned up his act and rejuvenated his career with a major change of musical direction, eschewing the musical straitjacket of Nashville country.
His most recent record was last year’s tribute to his late friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt. It followed a series of releases in the past decade or so which largely eschewed the rougher country rock of his early days in favour of bluegrass-flavoured and acoustic-based recordings.
Tickets for the concert will be on sale through the Shetland Box Office in Islesburgh Community Centre from 9am on Saturday 3rd July, priced at £20.
Mr Gardner said more details would appear in adverts in the local media over the next fortnight, adding: “Places will be limited for this special concert so everyone is advised to buy early to avoid disappointment this time around.”