His heartfelt testimonial about the impact of our mission set the tone for a stirring evening of his authentic music. “Bread & Roses does important work that deserves to be supported,” he said. “Music has the capacity to change the world.”
A beloved, internationally known rock, country and folk singer-songwriter/guitarist, Nashville-based Steve Earle is also a bandleader, record producer, author and actor. A three-time Grammy award-winner, he has released 16 studio albums. A musician's songwriter, his songs have been recorded by many diverse artists from Johnny Cash to Emmylou Harris. He is the subject of two biographies, “Steve Earle: Fearless Heart, Outlaw Poet” by David McGee and “Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle” by Lauren St. John.
In 2008, he produced Joan Baez's 50th anniversary release Day After Tomorrow for which he contributed a number of timely songs. He is an often rebellious, ever iconic Americana artist and activist, always nimble and eloquent as he responds in his songwriting to the most topical issues of the day.
Steve treated the rapt crowd to an inspired set of mainly original songs interspersed with a few beloved standards -- from a Texas blues song by Lightnin’ Hopkins called Mojo Hand (on his latest album Terraplane) to a song he wrote for Joan Baez called God Is God on her recent CD.
He recalled that our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, had asked him many times to do a concert for Bread & Roses but that the scheduling had not worked out. He sees his music and activism as one and the same, and his musical career as a path of service. He mentioned that he has a five-year-old son who has autism and that he has gotten involved in raising awareness of the needs of autistic children as a result. He said he hopes to be a role model for people around the world to do a similarly motivated kind of service.
“It is a special honor to have Steve Earle perform in this hallowed room tonight,” said host Rich Robbins. “His dedication to doing good in the world through his music is inspiring as we see the difference music makes in our lives. Bread & Roses does an average of two shows a day every day of the year in the Bay Area. Music nurtures the soul and brings hope to those who need it most – from children in special needs schools, to youth and adults who are incarcerated, to lonely seniors who are isolated in convalescent centers.”
Bread & Roses presents shows in very intimate settings where the connection between performer and audience is immediate and common humanity is shared. We had exactly the same kind of connection during our evening at Fantasy Studios and all came away with a reverence for the healing power of Steve’s music in that extraordinary setting.