Justin Townes Earle may be following in his illustrious father's footsteps in becoming a country troubadour, but a copyist he is not. Opening this record, 'Hard Living' rather harks back to an earlier simpler era in country music history. The same might be said of 'The Good Life' 'What Do You Do When You're Lonesome' and 'Ain't Glad I'm Leaving'. Country the way Hank done it. Elsewhere, on 'Who Am I To Say' 'Lone Pine Hill' and Turn Out My Lights' for example, JTE adopts a more modern, Americana approach: lonesome, melancholy, plaintive. More in the vein of Jeffrey Foucault. He may not yet be the finished article, with a truly distinctive vision yet to emerge, but with 'The Good Life' Earle has made a thoroughly enjoyable start.
JTE sings a variety of styles. From traditional hank williams style feel good songs,, with fiddles and pedal steel, to strong well crafted ballads in the steve earle/townes van zandt mould -whose influences are clear in his music. His voice isn't the strongest in the world, more jimmy dale gilmore. As townes would have said 'It's a delight' Recommended if you are looking to try somebody new.
I first heard of Justin Townes Earle from my son. Having heard him on Youtube I thought that Country wise this was as good as it gets. I'm a great fan of 'real' country i.e not rhinestone and along with Chris Richards it's good to hear new artists coming out with viable, thoughtful and interesting music in this genre.A beautifull and well crafted album.
Justin Townes Earle has great genes - not jeans - for music. As a career long follower of Steve Earle, I reluctantly sampled his son, expecting little. Brother, was I wrong. JT Earle is, like Dad, the real deal. He has had the advantage of the great father WHO ABANDONED HIM - so not only does he enjoy the genetic inheritance, he gets the real anger based on paternal rejection to fuel the fire inside.
I now have all three of his CDs and this debut is pretty damn good. It owes as much to Hank Williams and George Jones as it does to Dad or Townes Van Zant (his middle namesake), with standout traditional (in the best old school sense of the word) arrangements and production. Most of the tunes are competent, some are much better than that - like The Good Life, Lone Pine Hill (pure Van Zant), Lonesome and You and What Do You Do When You're Lonesome? In fact, lonesome is mentioned more than any other word on this record.
Justin's voice is lower and more powerful than his Dad's, but is strangely poor on a couple of tracks. Who knows? Maybe this recording was done in a rush? All in all, promises are made here and the rest of his limited canon deliver on at least some of these.
Not as great as Dad's opener, Guitar Town, but all in all, proper country stuff.
Justin Townes Earle (JTE) has big shoe's to fill following in his Dad's footsteps and he fills those shoe's with ease! This album, his first full length is a real country gem. His voice is so suited to the music and his song writing ability is fantastic, great story song with "Lone Pine Hill" about the American Civil War, it wouldnt go a miss from any of his Dad's albums, in fact many of these songs wouldnt go a miss from a Steve Earle album! Being all of 26 years old when this album was released he's showing a lot of promise! Any country music fans who want something new check JTE out you wont be disappointed.
Highlights for me:
Hard Livin' Who Am I to Say? Lone Pine Hill What do you do when you're lonesome? Turn Out My Lights Aint Glad I'm Leavin'