Justin Townes Earle is the son of Texas-raised songwriter Steve Earle, and was named after another Texas songwriter and his father's mentor, the late, great Townes Van Zandt. And while he may carry some of that folk history in his name, the road that the younger Earle travels is his own.
"I’m honored to carry the name," Earle says, "but if I spent my life trying to live up to it, I’d have a pretty miserable life." Raised in Nashville, his early records reflect that city's country influence. Nowadays, however, while the steel guitar and country instrumentation remain, the sound has evolved toward something closer to a roots-rock style. Simple, driving percussion powers the upbeat songs, while slower songs convey a sense of loss and loneliness in the characters who haunt Earle's road.
Justin Townes Earle's may have chosen to go down a slightly different rural route than did his father and his namesake, but it's a lonesome road nonetheless, a road populated by the ghosts of old lovers, the lonely and the forsaken; a hard road where, "even a good man can break."