Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart met through Stacey's brother, alt-country icon Steve Earle, whom guitarist Stuart played with in the '90s. While her older sibling was busy hogging tons of press with his political candor, Stacey and Stuart quietly released several albums together over the past decade. Steve may be the bad boy of the family, but he's also more accessible to mainstream audiences, since he's inclined to incorporate basic rock patterns in his songs. Stacey and Stuart are much more rootsy. Besides, they're not really the rabble-rousing type.
Earle and Stuart spend most of their time playing acoustic shows at intimate venues. But unlike Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (the Americana duo with whom they share a genre and fans), they have no problem yielding the spotlight to one another. Both sing, write, and take center stage. Their last studio album, 2005's S&M Communion Bread, burrowed deep into down-home imagery, gospel jubilation, and folksy twang. Expect to hear plenty of tracks from it and some new songs at their show this week. A double album is due in the spring. "It demonstrates the sound we have cultivated as a duo over the years," says Stuart. "This is what our fans have been calling for since our 2001 live CD."