Hell raising Texan troubadour Steve Earle leads the charge of roots country artists on an autumn Australian invasion.

Steve, 49, and sparring partner Lucinda Williams, 51, play east coast capitals Sydney and Melbourne while here to headline the Byron Bay Blues festival at Easter.

Earle, making his fourth Australian tour, is performing to promote his 14th album and accompanying DVD docco Just An American Boy.

The package is likely to be released locally soon for the gigs that include a season at the Prince Of Wales in St Kilda.

CLICK HERE for a Steve Earle feature CLICK HERE for an interview with Nu Country in 2000.

Steve Earle

And Williams is making her fourth Australian tour to promote her seventh album World Without Tears.

Williams will play at the Concert Hall on 22nd April 2004.

Dead Reckoning duo Kevin Welch and Kieran Kane and banjo wizard Alison Brown also play Melbourne before and after the Port Fairy folk festival on the March long weekend.

Welch, making his sixth tour, and Kane also have a new CD You Can't Save Everybody being released soon on Shock.

CLICK HERE for their dates in our GIG GUIDE

Lucinda Williams

Brown, a Harvard educated and University Of California MBA, owns Compass Records whose roster includes Kate Campbell and former Men At Work singer Colin Hay.

And Californian country chanteuse and former jockey Heather Myles is also expected to play the Corner Hotel in Richmond during her debut Australian tour in March.

Myles, now 38 and renowned for packing a pistol for protection, won wide acclaim for her five roots country discs - especially her latest Sweet Talk And Good Lies.

CLICK HERE for Heather Myles CD reviews.

Other major international country artists are also likely to be announced over the next month.

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