TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the May/June 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
On August 20, 2020 the world lost an amazing light with the passing of Justin Townes Earle. Justin was a vibrant songwriter who could play the blues, country, and rock 'n' roll all in the same song. In his short career, Justin released eight albums and one EP that all manage to sound classic and yet inventive.
Justin's father, Steve Earle, pays tribute to his son by recording an album of songs written by Justin titled, J.T. The album finds Steve Earle & The Dukes covering 10 of Justin's songs - from "I Don't Care", which appeared on his 2007 debut EP, Yuma, and a trio of selections from his full-length debut album, The Good Life ("Ain't Glad I'm Leaving", "Far Away In Another Town" and "Lone Pine Hill") to later compositions like 2017's "Champagne Corolla" and 2019's "The Saint Of Lost Causes", which was the title track of Justin's eighth and final studio album. J.T. closes with "Last Words", a song Steve wrote for Justin.
100% of the artist advances and royalties from J.T. will be donated to a trust for Etta St. James Earle, the three-year-old daughter of Justin and Jenn Earle. While somber in parts, the album is ultimately a rousing celebration of a life lived with passion and purpose. The recording features the latest incarnation of Steve's backing band, The Dukes - Chris Masterson on guitar; Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle & vocals; Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel, guitar and dobro; Brad Pemberton on drums and percussion; and Jeff Hill on acoustic and electric bass.
J.T. is a loving tribute to a loved son and beautiful songsmith who left this earth too early.
J.T. was a fixture on the Nashville ragtime, folk, bluegrass, and rock scenes, a gifted songwriter who released nine albums between 2002 and 2019. He inherited his father's gift for songwriting, penning reveries along with tender ballads that addressed his search for forgiveness and his struggles with depression and addiction... The closer, 'Last Words,' is the cover album's sole original - it's a painful, personal lament in which Steve Earle bares his soul about his son's death. Otherwise, J.T.'s music speaks for itself.
The final song, 'Last Words,' is the only tune Steve wrote for this album, and it's far simpler and more immediate than the songs that precede it. It's not maudlin, but it's shot through with a very real sadness that makes room for the puzzlement and anger that any father who has had to bury his own child must feel. If the final track is an act of public mourning, the rest of J.T. is the loving and appreciative celebration Justin Townes Earle's music deserves.
- Vinyl LP
- 100% of the artist advances and royalties from J.T. will be donated to a trust for Justin's 3-year-old daughter
- I Don't Care
- Ain't Glad I'm Leaving
- Far Away In Another Town
- They Killed John Henry
- Turn Out My Lights
- Lone Pine Hill
- Champagne Corolla
- The Saint Of Lost Causes
- Harlem River Blues
- Last Words