"I used to be a folksinger, because I had trouble with authority of any kind," he said. "Then I found out there were folksinging authorities, and I had to give it up."
He flouted any number of authorities, starting of course with his political songs. He said people have asked him whether he's worried that the songs about the Iraq war on his two most recent albums will become dated. "God, I hope so," he said. Halfway through his set, he brought out a DJ, who played and scratched beats behind him as he played old-time banjo.
He played a mixture of songs from his new album, Washington Square Serenade, and albums going all the way back to Guitar Town.
Allison Moorer, to whom Earle got married last year, opened the show and sang a few duets with him at the end. He returned for encores including "Hardcore Troubador," which one audience member was particularly insistent about requesting ("Steve, please play it or I won't get laid tonight," the lout's girlfriend shouted at one point, leaving Earle speechless for the only time that night), and closing with "Chrismastime In Washington."