It is the end of an era for the Steve Earle’s legendary backing band The Dukes. The husband and wife duo of lead guitar player Chris Masterson and fiddle/mandolin player Eleanor Whitmore have decided to depart the band. The duo also fronts their own band called The Mastersons.
What started out to be a small and intimate alternative to Austin’s sprawling SXSW gathering every March, and that was only known initially through invite or word of mouth, has now become arguably the most important and exclusive gatherings in all of American roots music every year.
Amy Winehouse, Angie McMahon, Bonnie Bishop, Chris Masterson, Chris Shiflett, Courtney Marie Andrews, Elanore Whitmore, Haley Heynderickx, Hayes Carll, Logan Ledger, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Mavis Staples, Miss Tess, Mountain Main, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen, Randy Houser, Ray Charles, Steve Earle, Sunny War, The Mastersons, Townes Van Zandt, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
So the elder Earle wanted to make himself a traditional blues record, huh? Well, not that I don’t defend his right to do whatever he wants as a music artist, but it doesn’t make it smart or sensible or gainful or right. It’s a little self-indulgent, frankly, don’t you think? At least on the surface that is. What do we need Steve Earle making blues records for? Are there not enough of them?