Posts Tagged ‘Justin Townes Earle’

LIVE: Justin Townes Earle @ MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, 3/10/12

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle

Review and photographs by J Hunter

The little blonde girl was named Amelia, the same name as my virtual niece, although this one was two years old: She turned the cuteness meter up to 11, and liked to walk in circles around her close-to-thirty-something mom and aunts when she wasn’t running and jumping in joyful exuberance; her older sibling was, as her mom put it, “in the mosh pit.” The adults were in the Berkshires to celebrate the 70th birthday of their aunt, who was also at the show… though, presumably, not in the mosh pit. It was Solid Sound in Winter at the Hunter Center, with people from Amelia’s age to retirement age getting repeatedly knocked out by second-generation singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle.

The “mosh pit” in question was a vast open area MASS MoCA staff had left between two sets of seats, one on either side of the theatre. Presumably the arrangement was meant to resemble the “skanky-ass rock clubs” Richard Buckner referenced as he sat down to begin his opening solo-electric/acoustic set. (“I feel like an artist,” he laughed, gazing bemusedly at the Hunter Center’s skank-free environment.) But while the space was big enough and wide enough to get a good running start at your fellow concert-goer, Earle’s brand of straight-no-chaser alt-country wasn’t exactly conducive for that kind of kamikaze flying. About the only movement I saw beyond multiple head-bobbing was from couples swaying front-to-back – not because Earle’s brilliant lyrics were in any way romantic, but because the music itself drew you in without breaking a sweat.

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LIVE: Justin Townes Earle @ Club Helsinki, 12/9/11

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle is the true embodiment of the genre of music known as “Americana.” Mixing folk, blues, bluegrass and gospel with a strong country influence, the son of legendary Texas troubadour Steve Earle has come a long way over the course of three albums (and a debut EP) in distancing himself from his family legacy and carving out his own history of being a great songwriter/performer.

Justin rolled into Club Helsinki in Hudson with just an acoustic guitar in hand and proceded to mesmerize and blow-away the packed house with a combination of amazing guitar playing, inspired vocals and top-notch songs that criss-crossed the landscape of American music. His musical narratives painted emotional, personal accounts of his life and those around him, that at times were both plaintive and uplifting. Songs like “Working For The MTA” and “Wanderin'” were reminiscence of two of his most obvious influences, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. The latter he proclaimed was the only person that mattered to him when applying a litmus test to a song he had written… “What would Woody have thought?”

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LIVE: Justin Townes Earle @ Club Helsinki, 12/9/11

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle

Glasses, silverware and dishes didn’t clink; cell phones had gone into hibernation. Was this intense love of music by a standing-room-only audience really happening? They were hanging on every verse and every note.

Such thoughts must have crossed the mind of the tall singer at the microphone, who throughout his sold out Friday evening performance at Club Helsinki smiled, even when playing a mournful blues riff on his acoustic guitar.

Son of the iconic Steve Earle and nephew of Stacey Earle (who never gets enough credit for her equally vivid songwriting and energetic performances, for the record), Justin Townes Earle has inherited an extraordinary family legacy of talent and turmoil and transcendence. His songs are often deeply personal, but their effect on an audience is as well. He is making some of the best roots music heard in recent memory.

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Justin Townes Earle, What Do You Listen to When You Clean the House?

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Justin Townes Earle (photo by Joshua Black Wilkins)

Justin Townes Earle (photo by Joshua Black Wilkins)

“Chet Baker tends to be a really good one for me. I have that album ‘The Best of Chet Baker Plays.’ I just love listening to that, especially the track called ‘C.T.A.’ That’s good house-cleaning music for me.”

Justin Townes Earle rolls into Club Helsinki in Hudson on Friday night (December 9) in support of his latest album, “Harlem River Blues.” Nashville singer-songwriter Tristen opens the show at 9pm. Tix are $22 in advance; $25 at the door.

Turn Your Radio On

Monday, September 28th, 2009

JustinTownesEarleJustin Townes Earle was named Best New/Emerging Artist of the Year earlier this month at the Americana Music Association Awards in Nashville.

Nippertown.com caught Justin in concert when he opened the show for his dad (yeah, that’s Steve Earle) at The Egg in May, and we recently named that performance as Best Opening Act of the Summer. (OK, probably not as big a deal as the Americana award thingie.)

But we’ve been kicking ourselves for missing Earle’s Capital Region debut at The Linda back in April.

Fortunately the fine folks from WAMC-FM are going to help remedy that situation. They taped his April 24 concert at The Linda, and they’ll be broadcasting it at 8pm on Wednesday, September 30.

Tune in…

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