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Sister act special too.

Byline: By Alan Nichol

Being the younger sibling of a famous individual must often be a significant curse as well as providing some reflected glory.

Does the world at large make crass or demeaning comparisons or is it an opportunity for a leg-up on the career ladder? One person who knows all about the opposing forces is Stacey Earle, younger sister of the Texas singer/songwriter, Steve.

Stacey arrives at the Live Theatre tonight with her husband and musical partner, Mark Stuart, for an eagerly awaited show at the Newcastle Quayside venue.

Earle and Stuart met some 14 years ago while Stacey was a waitress and Mark was playing gigs and sessions in and around their hometown of Nashville.

Stacey had played and sang on brother Steve's Hard Way tour in 1990 and later said: "I would learn a lot from him; first of all I was allowed to grow-up understanding what a songwriter was. I also got a major crash-course in touring as a musician."

After about a year and a half as a member of her brother's band she returned to Nashville to strike out on her own. She did a spell as a staff writer ( writing songs for other people ( but is quick to credit her husband. "I learned almost all of the best of my musicianship from Mark, exploring a wide range of influences, from blues to folk to rockabilly to country."

That really was not surprising as Stuart had been a member of his fiddle-playing father's band from the age of 15 and it helped that his uncle also played guitar. He learned from guitar greats like Chet Atkins and Merle Travis and from singers like John Fogerty, playing in honky-tonks and beer-joints at night while still at high school.

Later on, in the 1990s, he would also spend time as a member of Steve Earle's Dukes. The pair have opened for artists as diverse as Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, Ralph Stanley and Richard Thompson before graduating to most of the major North American festivals, European tours and the like.

Earle and Stuart released solo albums at the end of the 90s ( Simple Gearle and Songs From A Corner Stage respectively ( before delivering the duo debut with Must Be Live in 2001. Never Gonna Let You Go followed in 2003 and they have just issued S&M Communion Bread.

The same venue has something completely different tomorrow when the doo-wop, gospel, RnB outfit, The Extraordinaires take the stage. The former acapella trio later expanded to a full eight-piece band and are likely to have the place jumping in short order.

This gig is part of the Jumpin' Hot Club's 20th anniversary celebrations and the club demonstrates its loyalty by including the Hokum Hotshots on the bill. The Hotshots, Pete Mason and Jim Murray, were the first act booked by the club.

Ticket information on (0191) 232 1232.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2005
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