Justin Townes Earle

  • Saturday 26 March 2011

Justin Townes Earle is an anomaly. He’s tall as the day is long, all angles and elbows and a hard stare, both welcoming and deadly serious. He’s Nashville North, all set up in lower Manhattan now, just like his hero Woody Guthrie, with twang and charm intact.

His new record, his third, the outstanding Harlem River Blues, has been universally acclaimed, and in March he is returning to New Zealand. The much tattooed wonder kid of Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, will be reacquainted with his many New Zealand friends established by his committed touring in his favourite destination outside his old lady’s arms.

For those yet to experience Justin Townes Earle, get ready to see, hear, and feel the real deal. Channeling the Texas Blues of Mance Lipscomb and Lightnin’ Hopkins, the folk and honesty of Woody Guthrie, through the honky-tonk of Buck Owens, the cosmic country sounds of Gram Parsons mixed with Appalachian mountain music and finally the genius of his namesake Townes Van Zandt, he is a bundle of Americana busting at his fine stylin’ seams.

“Earle sings like a honky-tonk hero and thinks like a 21st century man. He’s sharp and young, and has soul to burn — a traditionalist that is not afraid to play ragtime and cover the Replacements punk anthem ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’” — Guitar Aficionado