FolkWorld #55 11/2014
© David Hintz

Justin Townes Earle

Artist Video Justin Townes Earle
@ FW:
FW#43, #48

Edgy and Exciting

Justin Townes Earle @ The Birchmere, Washington DC - Sep 16, 2014.

I've enjoyed Earle's music for some time now. His dark, wry style with a deep mean streak makes his hybrid of country-folk-roots music edgy and exciting. Tonight, he has a rhythm section and guitarist/steel guitarist whom I recognize from a previous tour. The band is solid and fully engaged in the dark yet attractive atmosphere of the songs.

Initially, the sound was not there as the vocals were not coming through (kind of important here). The soundman righted that issue quickly enough and there were no distractions thereafter, as the set flowed smoothly.

Quote of the Night Justin Townes Earle talking about how he probably will never write happy songs: "One of the worst things in the world is a song that feels better than you do."

I like the edge of these intense songs with such smooth stylish delivery as that contrast keeps my mind fully engaged, unlike many other bands that play in this general style. Earle's songs are rather timeless and don't comfortably fit any genre or place, which makes them all the better for it.

First published @

Photo Credits: (1) Justin Townes Earle (unknown).

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