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Sometimes the higher you go, the harder you fall - and it takes a special person to get back up again. Steve Earle is one of those people.
Steve grew up just outside San Antonio, Texas, and early on, he was fascinated by music. He says he remembers watching Elvis Presley on TV when he was just three, and was more interested in playing guitar than going to school. By ninth grade, he dropped out, moved to Houston and started playing at local coffee houses.
A couple of years later, Steve moved to Nashville - where he wrote songs for other musicians and played clubs for the next ten years. Then in 1986, he hit it big with his debut album 'Guitar Town.' With that record, Steve tore down the walls between country and rock with dark songs about what working class life was like in Reagan's America. He sold millions of records, and many people said he saved country music. But at the top of his game, Steve's started to fall hard.
He was hooked on heroin and cocaine - a period that Steve called a "vacation in the ghetto." By 1995, he'd hit rock bottom - in jail in Tennessee, but he cleaned up and came back a new man. Since then, Steve has recorded eight albums, won a couple of Grammys and become an outspoken political activist. He's also been in the critically acclaimed series 'The Wire' - where he played a recovering drug addict and sponsor.
Steve's latest record is called 'Townes.' It's inspired by his friend and mentor, legendary singer/songwriter Townes van Zandt.