In the last five years, Justin Townes Earle has emerged as a genre-busting acclaimed singer-songwriter, infusing country, blues, folk and indie rock into his vintage Americana sound. As the son of beloved country folk rabble-rouser Steve Earle, Justin (his middle name Townes is in honor his father’s mentor and friend, the great Townes Van Zandt) had large musical shoes to fill, but after five critically-adored records and an ever-growing legion of fans, it’s safe to say he’s done that.
After growing up playing in several bands around Nashville (including a stint with his Dad’s band the Dukes), Earle’s 2007 solo debut record The Good Life (on Bloodshot Records) burst onto the scene fully-formed, his vintage honky-tonk and pre-war blues sound creating quite a contrast to Music Row’s slick modern country. He soon developed a cult following, touring with fellow roots upstarts like Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch and the Felice Brothers. On the strength of his stellar follow-up Midnight at the Movies, Earle won an Americana Music Award for Best Emerging Artist in 2009, and then returned two years later to win Song of the Year for the title track of Harlem River Blues.
Of late, Earle has veered from the hillbilly shuffles of his earlier records, incorporating a tinge of Memphis soul as in 2012’s Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Know. Last summer he signed with Vagrant Records and released Single Mothers in September, and will be releasing its compendium record Absent Fathers on January 13.
Opening Act: Gill Landry
Gill Landry is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Louisiana. With his beginnings as a busker on the streets of New Orleans, he released his first solo album The Ballad of Lawless Soirez in 2007 on the Nettwerk label, and since 2005 has been performing as a member of the band Old Crow Medicine Show.
His new album Piety and Desire is a love song to New Orleans. Named after two streets that run parallel through the city’s 9th ward where Landry cut his teeth for years. With the album he paints a dark and beautiful landscape of characters and loves from ‘quarter rats’ to barmaids, merchants to thieves.