Calendar Picks

Steve Earle & the Dukes, The Mastersons

Steve Earle’s classic single “Copperhead Road” represented more than a welcome change of pace on FM radio. Its blend of country twang, bluegrass precision and Southern rock grit provided an incongruous yet ideal backing track for the songwriter’s dismissal of the war on drugs. It also set the pace for Earle’s 1988 album of the same name. On the A-side alone, socially aware lyrics about veterans (“Johnny Come Lately”) and the homeless (“Back to the Wall”) create a sense of unease more akin to heavy metal than forward-thinking country music. Three decades later, Americana’s elder statesman and his Dukes are taking a well-deserved victory lap—performing a still-relevant masterwork in its entirety every night on their current tour, which includes a stop in Athens Tuesday.