XPN Fest Recap: Colvin & Earle share old stories and new songs on the River Stage - WXPN
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Colvin and Earle | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

By the time Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle stepped on to the River Stage, the sun was setting and a cooler breeze was blowing through the packed crowd. The duo of singer / songwriter legends performed a retrospective set that pulled from their solo back catalogs and, of course, this year’s collaborative LP, which features a collection of originals and beloved covers.

Colvin & Earle opened with one those beloved covers, playing the jaunty little Every Brothers number “Wake Up Little Susie.” The backwoodsy love song “Come What May” followed, with Earle delighting the crowd on harmonica.

Their current hit single “You’re Right, I’m Wrong” earned instant cheers from the crowd, as did a heartfelt turn of the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday.” “Tobacco Road” showcased the pair’s Nashville roots, with a loose drawl of reedy guitars and a bluesy chorus.

The biggest cheer, though, probably came when Shawn played the opening notes of “Sunny Came Home.” The Grammy winning single was her biggest hit, and a big favorite of 90s XPN listeners.

Earle followed suit by playing “Someday,” a track from his 1986 breakthrough Guitar Town. Leading up to the song he told the story of how he came to write that album after a failed record deal, and how much it meant to him when Colvin covered “Someday” in 1994.

Pulling out a mandolin, Earle launched into “Galway Girl,” another hit from his back catalog. The band continued on with their co-written “Happy and Free” and the politically-minded “Tell Moses” before closing with another Earle original in “Copperhead Road.”

The set was warm and easy-going, with Colvin & Earle doing what they do best: telling stories through song.

Setlist

Wake Up Little Susie
Come What May
You’re Right, I’m Wrong
Ruby Tuesday
Tobacco Road
Sunny Came Home
Someday
Galway Girl
Happy and Free
Tell Moses
Copperhead Road

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