Justin Townes Earle

In December I was in New York City. I'd discovered Justin Townes Earle on Spotify by chance. It was a chain of events in fact. I live in Zaragoza, Spain and purchase British music rags randomly. Mojo, Classic Rock, Q, Uncut.... it depends on what's on the cover. A recent issue of UNCUT had Kings of Leon on the cover and in the article the bands talks about some of their favorite music. A name that kept popping up was Townes Van Zandt who I did not know anything about but recently had seen a cd compilation in stores, Be Here To Love Me, from a documentary on Townes' life by the same name. So I began to listen to TVZ and fell in love with some of his songs, heard cover versions and started to include Be Here to Love Me in my acoustic sets. Recently, I've incorporated Pancho and Lefty ( made famous by Willie Nelson) into my set also. One day as I was listening to Townes on Spotify ( for the uniniated, it's a music streaming service based in Sweden and very popular in the European countries where it's available. Apparently it's coming soon to the US) I decided to search just the name Townes to see if anyone else had that name. That's how I stumbled on Justin Townes Earle and his Harlem River Blues, which being a native New Yorker, immediately got my attention.
I began to stream his music also and fell in love with a couple of great songs including Harlem River Blues, One More Night In Brooklyn, Halfway to Jackson, They Killed John Henry. That late December I opened The Onion and found out that JTE was playing Webster Hall. Looking back and knowing how this concert changed me I can't believe I vascillated on the night of the concert and was opting not to go. But alas, laziness left me and I went to the concert. There were two acoustic opening acts which were pretty good, though I don't remember their names right now.
Then JTE came on with his bass player and violinist/guitar. His lanky figure trotting all over the stage, his banter, his love for booze and drugs, and most of all that guitar playing. My oh my, what a great guitar playing, what great picking. After seeing that wonderful show I decided to definitely learn travis picking and started looking at Justin's guitar videos on youtube. Unfortunately, he played at a Y in NY in mid January but I missed the show cause I saw the date in the paper after the fact.


Here's a video of a solo JTE playing Harlem River Blues



and here he is playing "They Killed John Henry", great picking!



and here's the late great Townes Van Zandt playing "Pancho and Lefty"

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