Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle Biography

Justin Townes Earle is 25 years old and his age belies his experience. Growing up in Nashville he mis-spent his youth playing in bluegrass/ragtime combo The Swindlers and the louder, more rocking The Distributors and developing some very bad habits. During tours as guitarist and keyboardist (“…and not a very good one,” laughs Earle) in his father Steve Earle's band, his problems became untenable and he was fired. Ultimately he cleaned up his act, dropped his self-destructive habits and began to focus on songcraft. “You don’t have to be fucked up or torture yourself to write songs,” explains Earle, “I used to write a lot, a whole lot, and half those songs I don’t even remember. Now, I sit there and I write it and I finish it and I keep it.”

With inspirations as diverse as Townes Van Zandt (he was named in honor of the elder Earle’s hero), Jimmy Reed, Kurt Cobain, The Replacements, Ray Charles and The Pogues, Justin forged his own brand of American roots music. Going through life with a namesake of Van Zandt’s stature cannot be easy for a young songwriter, but Earle takes it in stride,” saying, “Anyone who tries to live up to Van Zandt is a fool. I’m honored to carry the name, but if I spent my life trying to live up to it, I’d have a pretty miserable life.” Likewise, his father’s incredibly acclaimed, prolific career casts a huge shadow, but Justin Townes Earle's makes a name for himself by focusing his writing on the personal rather than the political, narrative tales instead of protest. The Good Life melds the qualities of a short story with the lyrical acuity of excellent songs, celebrating grand southern traditions and blowing a fresh breeze across the musical gardens and dive bars of Nashville.

"The Good Life's 10 songs are direct, fat-free and resolutely timeless...the subject matter is eternal: good love, bad love and the way either can lead a man to hit the road." Performing Songwriter

"Like the late Van Zandt, Earle uses a base of acoustic blues and prewar folk to build his own brand of American roots music." Nashville Scene

"I have a feeling that in a few years we'll need backstage passes at the Ryman auditorium to get anywhere near him. He's just THAT good." Chattanooga Free Press

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