Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle both remember the night they met. It was nearly 30 years ago, and Colvin had been invited to open a solo acoustic performance by Earle at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA. Though their interactions that night were limited to some cursory dressing room pleasantries, each left more of an impression on the other than they may have realized at the time.
“I was knocked out with her,” says Earle. “She was a real live folk singer.”
“I was a big fan—still am—and I was thrilled I got to meet him,” reflects Colvin. “Steve's just brilliant. He's a very simple writer in an extremely profound way. I love his singing and his songwriting, he's just got the whole package.”
Anyone in the audience that night could have sensed the critical acclaim, GRAMMY Awards, and immense impact on popular music that awaited both artists, each already well on their way to becoming widely considered among America's greatest living songwriters. The long time friends and admirers have now reunited to record their self-titled debut as Colvin & Earle, a true standout for each in a catalog chock full of highlights and masterpieces.
Such is the deep emotional connection and spiritual bond that enables this record to be so much greater than the (already great) sum of its parts. Few things can touch the magic of artists so in tune that they seem to be able to read each other's minds. It would have been impossible to predict backstage at the Iron Horse all those years ago, but Colvin & Earle have gone from sharing a stage to sharing a band to sharing one of the finest records in either of their storied careers. That night in Northampton turned out to be the beginning of a very beautiful friendship indeed.
The album was produced by Buddy Miller.