June 5, 2009

Introducing Justin Townes Earle

Here's what you'll read when you see the name Justin Townes Earle: his father is rebel folk legend and icon Steve Earle, a recovering drug addict (who played the role of Waylon in HBO's the Wire); he's named after Townes Van Zandt, considered one of the all-time great songwriters; he himself is a recovering drug addict and at one point was kicked out of his own father's touring band. 

What you'll also read is that his second album, Midnight At The Movies, is damn good. His best yet. While people like Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood strangle the remaining bits of life out of country music, Earle is pumping his own blood back into it—whether or not anyone cares or listens. Songs like "Black Eyed Suzie" display Earle at his best: an upbeat and lively bluegrass rhythm, earthy and acoustic instrumentation, and dark and intimate lyrics (this time about a prostitute that was a former lover) colored by Earle's own distinctive and nasally bad-is-good Dylanesque voice.

Justin Townes Earle - "Black Eyed Suzy" (from Midnight At The Movies)

Justin Townes Earle


  1. didn't his father just put out a new collection of Townes Van Zandt "covers"? <-- for want of a better word

  2. just listened to BLack Eyed Suzie - you're right - damn good. a real kicker.

  3. Yes, he did: aptly titled Townes. I think Justin sings a duet with his dad on one of them.