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Harlem River Blues

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Editors’ Notes

Justin Townes Earle has quite a legacy to live up to. His father is Steve Earle and he was named in part after the late, great legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt. With those influences of artistic purity looking over his shoulder, Earle sticks to roots music where a Hammond B-3 sounds perfectly at home. “Move Over Mama” is the perfect example of Earle’s sincerity towards old forms. It’s a rockabilly number that sounds like it could’ve been recorded in the 1950s with its cloudy reverb and slapping acoustic bass. “Workin’ for the MTA” sounds like an old country music mountain ballad. “Wanderin’” is the Woody Guthrie-like tune Bob Dylan chased as a young man. “Slippin’ and Slidin’” adds some gritty guitar and R&B horns to Earle’s high lonesome vocals. “Christchurch Woman” is a gripping love song that could’ve been written and performed by his father. “Learning to Cry” sounds like a great tune for Roy Orbison to sing. As it stands, they’re all great tunes from a promising young talent who, unlike many flavors of the month, should be with us for years to come.

Customer Reviews


This is a very good album,I like his dad a lot and this is as good if not better than any of Steve earles stuff.good stuff.

Hard livin'

The wonderful JTE returns with his 3rd album in as many years and altho' generally more understated (mature even) it doesn't disappoint. There are more "growers" than usual such as "Slippin' and slidin'" , Christchurch Woman and the title track which get well and truly stuck in your head. For my Anglo ears he produces the finest Country sounds around. If you're scared of big hats & teeth then he's your man.

JTE's best album to date

JTE's fourth album (after Yuma, The Good Life and Midnight at the Movies) is his greatest yet! The songs are mature, they are great to listen to, and please, do NOT put these songs on shuffle. They are best listened to in the order they were put on the album.

Would definitely recommend!


Born: 04 January 1982 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The son of maverick Texas songwriter Steve Earle (and carrying the middle name of his dad's mentor, Townes Van Zandt), Justin Townes Earle shares just a hint of his father's vocal style in his voice, and like the elder Earle, he writes his own songs, but aside from the fact that both Earles fall to the country side of the Mason-Dixon Line, there are probably far more differences in their musical approaches than there are similarities. The younger Earle grew up in Nashville and took up music early,...
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Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle
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