Alaskans Protest Country's Steve Earle

Steve Earle's (search) appearance at the Southeast Alaska State Fair (search) in Haines is drawing protest.

Earle has been the subject of angry letters and paid newspaper commentary in the Chilkat Valley News since early May.

Letter writers have complained that Earle's music has un-American or Marxist undertones. Some have said he's not right for the nonprofit family fair in Haines, and have called for a boycott.

Earle, a 50-year-old, Grammy-nominated country rocker, has frequently drawn critical acclaim over his career, spanning three decades. His more recent albums, including "Jerusalem" and "The Revolution Starts ... Now," have been critical of George W. Bush and the war on terror.

But the controversy hasn't translated into troubles at the box office. More than 300 people have reserved spots for the July 30 show.

"We've never pre-sold that many tickets to anything before," fair Director Herb VanCleve said. The fair has an outdoor capacity of 1,200.

VanCleve said the negative attention seems to have generated a rush of radio play for Earle in Haines.

"The general reaction I've gotten from virtually everyone has been 100 percent in support of what the fair is doing," VanCleve said.