Losing a child is not something you’d wish upon anyone. While Justin Townes Earle was a prolific and brilliant songwriter, we lost him last year. The sadness of the loss is something any fan of his music as well as any human can relate to. However through the sadness comes joy in the packaging of the new album J.T. by his father Steve Earle. On the eleven song release his music gets offered up through the talents of a father while celebrating all that the singer songwriter was in the process.
Starting off with “I Don’t Care” the joyous picking and party like atmosphere offers the song up in a happy way. The gumbo threaded track was always a favored song from Townes Earle and here it thrives within its representation. This gets followed up by the swampy NOLA sounding “Ain’t Glad I’m Leaving.” Steve Earle channels the song as the long time troubadour he’s always been while honoring the spirit of the original.
Of course the album is full of such songs that celebrate and rekindle the songs in a new way. “They Killed John Henry” has a more twangy tone, “Lone Pine Hill” rings out with a interpersonal sound and “Last Words” closes the album out with plenty of heft and meaning. But of these songs our favorite came from “The Saint Of Lost Causes.” Here Earle takes the original and delivers it with a new swagger. The kind of earnest interpretation that only someone experiencing heavy loss could deliver. It’s powerful and reminds you of the strength behind Townes Earle’s songwriting while giving you a new and introspective way to experience it.
J.T. can be purchased in all digital music stores. It’s also available to stream on all streaming sites. It can be preordered directly from New West Records on various formats ahead of its March 19 physical release. Steve Earle will be on tour beginning at Kent Stage in Kent, OH on June 03 until September 10 at Camp Copperhead in Big Indian, NY. His tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff.