| Nick Krewen
For the KW Record
November 4, 1999
Stacey Earle is making up for lost time.
The younger sister of country renegade Steve waited until she was 38 to release this year’s Simple Gearle album, a stunning collection of roots-driven folk, blues and alternative country.
“I always tinkered around with music and played it, by ear, around the house when we were younger,” Earle said from her Nashville home Tuesday morning, just prior to heading out for a six-week tour that stops at Bowring’s in Guelph Friday (tomorrow).
“I never thought about doing it for a living. You know how some people dream of being a star? Steve did. He knew at 16. He left home and went to Nashville when he was 17.
“But I became a young mother at 17. So instead of spending my days and nights practicing my guitar and singing, I was raising children and waiting tables.”
It was at the invitation at Steve that the divorced Stacey packed up her two sons and moved in with him in Nashville. She sang with him on his 1990 album The Hard Way, and joined him for the world tour to promote the album.
“I spent another nine years in Nashville still trying to pursue a record deal,” Earle admits. “But I’m not disappointed, because my writing and everything grew up with me. All the stuff of being young with children, and all that responsibility that comes along with it gave me the fuel to write Simple Gearle.”
Her brother’s descent into drug addiction, and eventually, his short prison sentence also brought her perspective.
“How do you describe that one? Hurricane! ” says Stacey Earle. “It was a very tough time. When I moved in in 1990, I didn’t realize how bad and how out of hand it was. Eventually it became obvious that he was having a really tough time. Once again, more fuel for Simple Gearle and the writing.”
Steve Earle’s personal problems actually delivered a godsend in the form of Mark Stuart, her husband, guitarist and solo artist in his own right.
“Mark came along at a wonderful time,” says Earle. “He came along just as Steve was really going. I guess you could say Mark was my crutch and the kids’. If that didn’t run him off, I knew he was a keeper! This guy must really like me, because he’s still here today.”
Earle considers herself to be very fortunate. She tours with Stuart, and next summer, her drumming son Kyle will finish high school and join her permanently on the road.
“What more can a mother and wife ask but to know where her husband and her son are at 10:00 p.m.? Right here, on the stage with me!” she laughs.
WHO: STACEY EARLE & THE JEWELS with Blackie & The Rodeo Kings
WHERE: Bowring, Guelph.
WHEN: Friday, November 5. 8:30 p.m.