Playlist.  Listen.


  1. Harlem River Blues [MP3]
  2. One More Night In Brooklyn
  3. Move Over Mama
  4. Working For The MTA
  5. Wanderin'
  6. Slippin' And Slidin'
  7. Christchurch Woman
  8. Learning To Cry
  9. Ain't Waitin'
  10. Rogers Park
  11. Harlem River Blues (reprise)

Catch JTE singing "Harlem River Blues" on the Letterman show HERE

"A voice crying from some distant reverb of misfortune, and chilled with the letal kind of conviction that moves mountains." The Independent UK

"HRB delivers in spades what his two previous offerings hinted at...the songwriter drops 11 weighty originals steeped in American musical traditions yet bearing his own inimitable lyric and stylistic signature.  Earle proves that he is a force to be reckoned with, in these grooves he embodies the history, mystery, and promise of American roots music."

"As strong as his first two albums have been, it always seemed as if Justin Townes Earle was holding something back… it was hard not to suspect that someone as talented as he is could do even more. On his third album, Harlem River Blues, the singer-songwriter proves those suspicions were well-founded, expanding his sound and adding just the tiniest bit of pop sheen without sacrificing the intimacy and sense of timelessness that marked his previous work. It all fits together beautifully, creating one of the year’s best albums." - American Songwriter

Justin Townes Earle Harlem River Blues

BS 178 2010 $11.95
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Order the LP with digital download included HERE

"An album I wanted to play again as soon as it was done." -Mojo

"Earle has a knack for crafting songs that sound timeless, like you have to check that he actually wrote them rather than dusted them off from some forgotten 78 rpm. HRB magically straddles the past and the modern day; it's the kind of roots music that could only be made today, yet is steeped in history." -East Bay Express

"Justin Townes Earle is Justin Townes Earle, so any comparison with other Americana singer-songwriters, old or young is futile.  This album has a timeless grace to it and is a massive leap forward." -Maverick

"HRB is the record he's long threatened to make, taking things to a higher level with a stunning blend of styles." - The Sun (UK)

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.

The aforementioned Woody Guthrie once said, “Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” On Harlem River Blues, Justin chose the simple route. The record’s not a wall of sound produced to the rafters. It’s rockin’ and reelin’ at times, sweet and slow at others—and it’s great. Like good fried chicken, a well-cut suit and a handmade guitar, there’s heaven to be found in the beautifully crafted simpler things.

Compared to the much-lauded Midnight at the Movies, Harlem River Blues is more mature and increasingly nuanced, while still embracing the raw voice and clean sound of previous standout tracks like “Mama’s Eyes.” Harlem River Blues kicks off hot with the title track’s choir of backing singers and electric guitar, slow dances through a decrepit tenement on “One More Night in Brooklyn,” and swings à la Jerry Lee Lewis on “Move Over Mama.” “Working for the MTA” is a modern day railway ballad, embracing the labor movement in classic folk singer style over some heartbreaking pedal steel from Calexico’s Paul Niehaus. With percussive guitar, killer standup bass lines by Bryn Davies and a guest appearance from Jason Isbell, this record hums along like a 6 train jumpin’ the tracks and heading straight for the Tennessee state line.

Harlem River Blues straddles not only the Mason- Dixon, but time itself. As versed in Mance Lipscomb as he is in M. Ward and sporting Marc Jacobs suspenders, Justin Townes Earle is a man beyond eras. With Harlem River Blues, a record that’s perfect for late Indian summer nights on either the front porch or fire escape, Justin’s found yet another way to be a timeless original.