Steve Earle feels right at home in New York and at City Winery. He grew up in Texas, was a songwriter in Nashville and lived in New Orleans, but he’s called New York City home for the past 14 years. As part of the Winery’s “residency” program, Earle regularly performs a series of solo shows throughout the year. This past Monday, February 11th, he concluded his winter residency, joined by native New Yorker Shannon McNally.

McNally grew up on Long Island, but has followed Earle’s wandering ways in search of the muse. For now, she has settled in the North Mississippi Hill Country, influenced by the likes of the Dickinson family and the region’s rich musical traditions. Her latest album, Black Irish, was produced by another icon of American roots music, Rodney Crowell, who also wrote and co-wrote songs for the record.

The sold-out house warmly welcomed Earle, and he immediately demonstrated the connection he has built with his fellow New Yorkers. Warm, funny and never bashful about his personal and political views, Earle acknowledged the superb tutelage he received from songwriting legends Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. For one of Earle’s most covered tunes, “The Devil’s Right Hand”, his comment on gun violence was spot on. “Whatever you grew up thinking about guns, I think it’s time we recognize the fact that we’ve forfeited our gun rights.” On the subject of immigration, he was less diplomatic: “How dare that [expletive] threaten to build a wall.” Earle’s “City of Immigrants” from his 2007 Washington Square Serenade album was a powerful tribute to the diversity that makes New York the vibrant community it is.

Favorites such as “Copperhead Road,” “Guitar Town” and “The Galway Girl” alternated with deeper cuts and colorful stories of romance (Earle has been married seven times) and a past that includes bouts with various forms of substance abuse. Earle has been amazingly prolific and promised two new albums over the next two years. The 2020 release will surely have a political bite, but Earle concluded the evening with a call for more civility between people despite their differences.

For the past 10 years, City Winery has been a major force in redefining the New York concert experience. Its success has spawned sibling venues in Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., but the original site on Varick Street will be closing. We’ve been promised an announcement soon as to the new location, but for now, there’s still plenty of live music left in this storied space.