Steve Earle’s kid’s
third full-length is followup to last year’s acclaimed Midnight At the Movies. Features
guests Jason Isbelly, Bryn Davies and Paul Niehaus.
By Blurt Staff
Woody Guthrie once said, “Any fool can make something
complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” On Harlem River Blues,
due Sept. 14 from Bloodshot, Justin
Townes Earle takes that lesson to heart, making a statement without
making a wall of sound.
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.”
Featuring guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Bryn Davies and Calexico’s Paul
Niehaus, 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 hand made guitar, there’s
heaven to be found in the beautifully crafted simpler things.
Sporting some of those well-cut suits, Justin Townes Earle
spent 2009 pounding the proverbial pavement, touring constantly and wowing
audiences worldwide. That hard working earnestness has paid off, to say the
least. Justin won the Best New and
Emerging Artist at the 2009 Americana Music Awards. Midnight at the
Movies was named one of the best records of last year by Amazon, got four stars in Rolling Stone and found
a sweet spot in the blackened hearts of fans and critics alike. GQ magazine named him one of the 25 best
dressed men in the world in 2010. He also appeared on HBO’s Treme with his dad,
troubadour Steve Earle, on whose Grammy
Award winning Townes record Justin also guests.
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.