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Midnight At the Movies

Justin Townes Earle

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iTunes Review

It’s easy to overemphasize Justin Townes Earle’s pedigree — when you’re the son of Steve Earle (as well as the namesake of Townes Van Zandt), expectations are naturally high. But Justin doesn’t live up to his heritage so much as transcend it on his sophomore album Midnight At the Movies. His approach to the singer/songwriter’s craft avoids the bravura flourishes of the elder Earle in favor of something more nuanced and restrained. The furtive love scenarios in “Here We Go Again,” “Someday I’ll Be Forgiven for This,” and the title track betray a delicate touch that draws tears and blood. Earle dashes off folk-rooted balladry (“They Killed John Henry”), ‘30s-style string band ditties (“What I Mean to You”) and classic barstool country (“Poor Fool”) with deceptive nonchalance. His voice shifts from a parched rasp to a mellifluent croon without losing focus, and as a lyricist he distills poetry out of bleak character sketches (“Black Eyed Suzy”) and painful family portraits (“Mama’s Eyes”). This short, bittersweet album testifies to Earle’s ability to stand upon his talent, not just his family name.

Customer Reviews

Block off the old block

Not a chip. In fact, JT's current work is miles more interesting than his dad's current work. Touches of ragtime, trad country, folk and alt-country give this album a real personality. It's not perfect, but this guy's good. I expect some greatness from him and this is close. The Mats cover is a real joy, but the centerpiece is track 10, a tear in your whiskey weeper fit for the Possum himself. This is better than his debut, but not as good as what's to come....

Superb

I fly alot. I usually wear my JTE t-shirt and I always have people come up and say they are a fan too. There is a great following out there and it is building. This Cd will keep it happening for sure. "Someday I'll be Forgiven For This" is pure heart. "Halfway to Jackson" has the best harp I've heard in a long long time. "Black Eyed Suzy" is excellent banjo. Lyrics are killer. I'm going to need a new t-shirt. Keep it going JTE and Bloodshot.

Just heard it live...

This album dropped today, and I just got back from JTE's show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC -- amazing. Justin Townes Earle on guitar and Cory Younts on the banjo, mandolin, and harmonica -- it couldn't have been finer. They played many of the tracks from Midnight At The Movies that I hadn't heard yet, and I was awed. Give this guy a listen if you haven't already -- and do yourself a favor and see him live if he's playing in your part of the world -- he's a gifted live performer and an incredible talent. Wow.

Biography

Born: January 4, 1982 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Country

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,...
Full Bio
Midnight At the Movies, Justin Townes Earle
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