STEVE EARLE @ BOULDER THEATER | FRI, 7/12/13 The idea of artists overcoming adversity is a modern theme du jour, with dreary storylines custom-made for television documentaries. Yet it's hard to imagine any comeback more unlikely than Steve Earle's. After busting out of the stale Nashville scene of the late '80s with ballsy, rocking albums like Guitar Town and Copperhead Road, Earle served time for heroin possession. He emerged clean and sober and expelled the sour air of prison life like poison gas on 1995's Train a Comin'. Offering a finely honed blend of blues, country and rock, Earle has released a slew of other albums, including his latest, The Low Highway.
LUCERO @ CHAUTAUQUA AUDITORIUM | SAT, 7/13/13 After a decade together, Lucero's starting to mix things up a bit with the addition of a horn section on 2009's 1372 Overton Park. That album -- the Memphis band's only with Universal -- sparked the tired debate amongst followers about what happens when a group signs a major-label deal and perhaps grows a bit tired of the same stylistic structure that has dominated its past albums. On the band's 2012 album, Women & Work, Lucero takes more of a country-soul route a la Gram Parsons and Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones. Last April, the band released the four-track EP Texas & Tennessee. (Lucero also plays at the Aggie on Friday, July 12, and at the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs on Sunday, July 14.)
THE PALADINS @ LA RUMBA | FRI, 7/12/13 One the hardest-working rockabilly bands of the past few decades, the Paladins were formed by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and Thomas Yearsley at the height of the rockabilly movement in the early '80s. Over the next two decades, the trio toured with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos and the Blasters and released nine studio albums. In 2004, the Paladins went on hiatus; Gonzalez subsequently started the Hacienda Brothers with Chris Gaffney and played with the country-soul Stoney River Boys. In 2010, Gonzalez reunited with the Paladins for some European dates, and the following year, the trio regrouped for its first American shows in seven years. Touring with drummer Brian Fahey, the band is playing a few rare reunion dates around the States, including this one at La Rumba, and there's even talk of the Paladins getting back in the studio to record new tracks.