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BLOOMINGTON — Like son, like father?

In the realm of downtown Bloomington venue performances, that’s the case with Texas country-rock legend Steve Earle, following in the wake of his boy, Justin Townes Earle.

Justin has played the area frequently in recent years, including gigs at Bloomington’s New Lafayette Club and Six Strings.

But the old man hasn’t passed through Central Illinois since the first Farm Aid at the University of Illinois 26 years ago this week, followed by a 1989 Illinois State Fair slot with Bob Dylan.

Since then, Justin has picked up the slack.

For the Castle Theatre, landing Earle and his band, The Dukes (and Duchesses), to fete the venue’s freshman year is a decided coup, right up there, the owners say, with first-year visitors like Snoop Dogg and Alejandro Escovedo.

The two Earles are both famous and infamous for their kindred fusion of music and hard living.

Earle Sr., 56, has logged seven marriages since 1975 — or about one every five years.

Wife No. 3, Carol-Ann Hunter, is the union that produced Justin, who is now 29.

Making the anniversary show a family affair, even without Justin, is dad’s seventh and current spouse, Allison Moorer, an accomplished alt-country singer in her own right.

Meanwhile, Steve Earle’s well-documented drug habit of yore, which forced him in a two-year career hiatus and jail time in the early ’90s, are part of his legend.

Justin’s career has followed suit in many ways, including being fired from his dad’s band, The Dukes, after substance abuse problems of his own.

In fact, one of Justin’s Six Strings appearances had to be postponed a year ago this month following an arrest for battery, public drunkenness and resisting arrest.

After a stint in rehab, he was able to come through on the date in mid-February.

At a glance

What: Castle Theatre First Anniversary Show starring Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) and Allison Moorer

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington

Tickets: $25

Box office: 309-820-0352


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