Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle has a lot to live up to, at least on paper. His father is cult folk and country icon Steve Earle, and he’s named after Townes Van Zandt. Luckily, the man has got songs: colorful Americana numbers that explore a different side of the country-rock divide than his father’s did. What he did inherit from his pop was a battle with drugs and alcohol that slowed his career’s progress in his mid-20s. Since kicking his dependencies, Earle has solidified his attack; his 2010 LP, Harlem River Blues, is his most consistently lovely record. The title track finds Earle and his lively band nailing a rousing, rootsy rock song, putting a fresh spin on a well-worn sound.