Justin Townes Earle is a man who wears many suits.
When we first came across him, he was an avowed Woody Guthrie acolyte, all dusty roads and denim. He stalked around the stage by himself with the burning stare of a feral carnival showman. As his skills and confidence grew, he stood tall with his hair slicked back and leaned into the mic with the knowing glint of a man onto something special. The clothing, and the music, got more stylin', giving him both a retro and original presence. From a Music Row classicist to the storycraft of Dylan to the laid back soulful cool of his more recent work, it's hard to say which suit fits him the best.
Or maybe JTE's one of those guys who looks good in anything he wears. As with all exciting artists, we can't wait to see what he walks into the room with next...
Since his debut full length in 2008, Earle has toured constantly including performances at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest, the Grand Ole Opry, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Bumbershoot, as well as an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Additionally, Earle won 'Best New and Emerging Artist' at the 2009 Americana Music Awards and was named by GQ magazine as one of 'The 25 Most Stylish Men in the World' in 2010. He has also appeared on HBO's Treme with his dad, Steve Earle, on whose Grammy Award winning record Townes, JTE also guested and on the David Letterman show (with Jason Isbell on guitar for "Harlem River Blues"--check it out, it's outstanding). In 2012, he got behind the boards and produced an album for the legendary Wanda Jackson Unfinished Business.
With inspirations as diverse as Townes Van Zandt (he was named in honor of the elder Earle's hero), Jimmy Reed, Kurt Cobain, The Replacements, Mance Lipscomb, Ray Charles and The Pogues, Justin forges his own brand of American roots music. Going through life with a namesake of Van Zandt's stature cannot be easy for a young songwriter, but Earle takes it in stride,' saying, 'Anyone who tries to live up to Van Zandt is a fool. I'm honored to carry the name, but if I spent my life trying to live up to it, I'd have a pretty miserable life.'
Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) & the Dead Peasants cover Justin's "Look The Other Way" on While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records