Justin Townes Earle turns his back on the triumph of Harlem River Blues, and dons sackcloth and ashes for this live in the studio effort. Not that his songs are usually joy-filled, but this one is a step down in mood even for young JT. Like his Dad the once great Steve, JT is a bundle of self punishing emotion. Dad hid it, but JT 'can't stand himself alone' and lets you know in every song. The album is recorded with a band, one with good musicians, a few horns, more consistency in production and features a mixed vocal performance from a man who really can sing and play. It seems clear that success has no bearing on young JT Earle, his depression is here to stay - he still blames his father for 'breaking his mother's heart'.
But he can write great, moving simple songs, like Maria, Memphis in the Rain, the title track, Won't be the Last Time. The last half of the album is better than the first half - Moving On and Unfortunately Anna are highlights. It is a short, bittersweet record, played a band you might like to hear live. I'm sure it will grow on me like a rash - all of his other three did. But I can't give it 5 stars - it misses the heights, but avoids plumbing any depths - except the artist's own, unfathomable ones.