Singer Steve Earle includes City on summer tour

Central Music Festival 2012 plans also continue to take shape

Legendary singer/songwriter Steve Earle is including Red Deer on his summer tour, with a concert slated for June 15 at the Memorial Centre.

Fans will be treated to a treasure trove of his classic songs plus tunes from his latest disc I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.

A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Earle, who originally hails from Hampton, Virginia, quickly became a master storyteller in his own right with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others.

It was back in 1986 he released his debut record, Guitar Town. Powered by his unique, heartfelt approach to crafting insightful songs and his distinctive voice, the project shot to number one on the country charts and immediately established the term ‘New Country.’

What followed was a varied array of releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), Train A Comin’ (1995) Jerusalem (2002) and the Grammy-award winning albums The Revolution Starts…Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007) and Townes (2009).

I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive marks Earle’s 14th studio album and features the image-rich cut This City which has garnered both Emmy and Grammy award nominations. Other highlights include the catchy and compelling Waitin’ On the Sky. Earle’s voice matches the down-to-earth, no frills sensibilities of the song perfectly while Every Part of Me showcases a more reflective, sensitive side to his creative abilities.

The album was recorded and produced by T-Bone Burnett in late 2010 in Los Angeles, and according to Wikipedia, Earle describes it as dealing with questions of mortality and having a “more country” sound than his earlier work.

The CD was also released alongside his debut novel of the same name (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The novel imagines the troubled life of Doc Ebersole as he is haunted by the ghost of his former patient and friend, Hank Williams.

Recognized as an actor from the overwhelmingly acclaimed series The Wire, Earle is also a cast member on HBO’s acclaimed series Treme.

Additionally he has appeared on Law and Order and the feature film Leaves of Grass starring Edward Norton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss and Keri Russell.

Earle’s show is being presented by the Central Music Festival Society, which is also gearing up for the annual Central Music Festival.

Known for its distinct versatility when it comes to showcasing a range of artists, the event, slated for Aug. 17-19 and heading into its sixth year, takes place in a natural outdoor amphitheatre located just a short distance north of Red Deer.

Folks can head north on Taylor Dr., cross Hwy 11A and continue on the C&E Trail, officially known as Range Road 273A. Continue on that road to Township Rd. 392 and turn left, and then drive another one km.

Guests can also camp for the weekend and enjoy and a variety of food and beverages while checking out the wares offered by local vendors on site. The Kids’ Korner also features children’s entertainment and activities geared to their interests.

As for the music, Mike Bradford, president of the Society and producer of the event, has always made it his goal to attract examples of a number of styles. He also aims to bring in several well-known and well-established artists as well as many gifted, emerging artists.

There is everything from blues, rock, folk and reggae to funk, jazz, Tex-Mex, Cajun and bluegrass. Festival-goers can also really make a weekend getaway out of the event as there is also free camping on site.

Potable water, portable toilets, garbage and recycling bins are available for use. Campers must also obtain a Camping Permit at the gate and display it on their dashboard.

Day Passes are available at the gate — $20 for Friday night, $60 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday.

This year’s performers include Dick Damron, Sista Monica, (a 2012 Blues Music Award nominee for Best Soul Blues Female Artist by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee), George Hamilton IV, Ruined Escape Plan, Lesley Schatz, Rory Hayes Anderson, Frank Peters and the Heartbroke Heroes.

Other highlights include the Chris LeBlanc Band, Justine Vandergrift, Steve Palmer, Steve Arsenault Band, Jake Peters, The Scott Cook & The Long Weekends, Thoz Guyz, Diamond Joe White, Gabriel Palatchi Band and Darryl Matthews among others.

Meanwhile, there are opportunities for sponsorship involvement and for plenty of volunteer help as well. Anyone interested can check out for more details.

For ticket information, visit Ticket Central’s web site at or call 403-347-0800.