Steve Earle’s Blues Heroes

Steve Earle
Steve Earle

Just who might Steve Earle look to as a blues icon? Read on to find out:

Townes Van Zandt
Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt
“He could play the Lightnin’ [Hopkins} stuff almost note-for-note perfectly. But Townes used to say his two biggest influences, and he was pretty consistent about it, were Robert Frost and Lightnin’ Hopkins. I don’t even want to talk to people that don’t understand that. Townes understood what was important in the blues that made it the blues and it doesn’t have anything to do with a 12-bar structure when it gets down to it. It’s not about that.”

 

 

Mance Lipscomb (left) and Lightnin’ Hopkins
Mance Lipscomb (left) and Lightnin’ Hopkins

Mance Lipscomb
“It’s the way [Mance] played guitar. It was like hearing a whole band and it’s really influenced how I play guitar. And I got to see him and Lightnin’ Hopkins in the same room at the same time on three or four occasions.”

 

 

Freddie King
Freddie King

 

 

 

Freddie King
“He was loud and rocked really hard. His version of ‘Going Down’ is the definitive one regardless of whatever Jeff Beck thinks.”

 

 

 

 

Canned Heat
Canned Heat

Canned Heat
“That’s where it all started for me. Those guys, Bob Hite and Al Wilson, were hardcore record collectors.”

Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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