The Good Life by Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle’s pedigree come mixed blessings. As the son of legendary singer/songwriter Steve Earle, high expectations are the name of the game, and he’s shown that he is up to the task on The Good Life, crafting stark portraits and narrative tales with elements of blues, classic country and rock n’roll. A modern-day troubadour, Earle blends genres seamlessly, framing his songs in warm musical settings and creating tunes that could easily be mistaken for classics. “I started out to make an old timey country record, but I listen to so many other kinds of music,” Justin explained. “Some of the songs were rearranged on the spot and took on other lives and album is now more of an exploration of southern music.” Earle approaches universal topics like traveling and matters of the heart (“Hard Living”, “The Good Life”) with the same fervor with which he evokes the bleak loneliness of a Civil War soldier on “Lone Pine Hill”.
The Good Life is produced by RS Field (Billy Joe Shaver, Sonny Landreth) and Steve Poulton. The album was recorded (with the exception of “Ain’t Glad I’m Leaving”) at House of David studios, the legendary room that has hosted sessions with George Jones, Elvis Presley, Neil Young and countless others. Joining Earle in the studio are a cast of all-star players including longtime cohort Cory Younts (Bobby Bare, Jr) on banjo and mandolin, pedal steel player master Pete Finney (Dixie Chicks, Patty Loveless), bassist Bryn Davies (Patty Griffin, Guy Clark), drummer Bryan Owings (Buddy Miller, Shelby Lynne), keyboardist Skylar Wilson and fiddle player Josh Hedley.
Although his father’s incredibly acclaimed, prolific career casts a huge shadow, Justin Townes Earle makes a name for himself by focusing his writing on the personal rather than the political, narrative tales instead of protest. The Good Life melds the qualities of a short story with the lyrical acuity of excellent songs, celebrating grand southern traditions and blowing a fresh breeze across the musical gardens and dive bars of Nashville.
(From Bloodshot Records)