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Justin Townes Earle Brings New Music to Music Hall of Williamsburg

August 5th, 2015

His last name comes from his father and his middle name pays homage to Townes Van Zandt, so it seems Justin Townes Earle was destined to become a musician. He grew up in Nashville, playing music at a young age, but not just country or bluegrass as you might expect. Instead, Earle joined a rock band and also toured with his dad before self-releasing the EP Yuma (stream it below) in 2007. His debut full-length, The Good Life (stream it below), an interesting mix of bluegrass, country and folk that helped establish a name for himself, followed the next year. And then like so many before him, Earle headed to the big city, eventually becoming a denizen of the East Village, which inspired the terrific Hudson River Blues (stream it below). On the heals of releasing his fifth LP, the highly regarded Single Mothers (stream it below), late last summer, Earle (above, doing “My Baby Drives” for Rhapsody) put out its follow-up, Absent Fathers (stream it below), just a few months later. “Absent Fathers is the companion piece to 2014’s Single Mothers, an album that introduced the world to a new Justin Townes Earle—sober, married and healthy, full of insight and reflection. Absent Fathers is filled with a dichotomy of unrelenting frustration and unadulterated love. Whether that be for a distant father, an old lover or the narrator himself, it doesn’t seem to matter, as Earle is certainly pulling no punches,” according to Paste magazine. “While the album’s primary appeal may come from the rich storytelling in Earle’s songs, the musicality on display is nothing to balk at either.” See him at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday. Folkie singer-songwriter Anthony D’Amato opens the show.