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Justin Townes Earle passed way too soon


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Justin Townes Earle, US songwriter and son of Steve Earle, dies aged 38

Tributes are flowing for the musician, who battled addiction throughout his life

Guardian staff

Mon 24 Aug 2020 03.31 BSTLast modified on Mon 24 Aug 2020 04.59 BST

 

Justin Townes Earle, an acclaimed US songwriter and son of Steve Earle, has died, in news confirmed on the artist’s Facebook page on Sunday night.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” the post read. “So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys. You will be missed dearly.”

Named for his father’s friend and idol Townes Van Zandt, Earle, 38, battled addiction throughout his life. He released eight albums across the course of his career, which saw him honored twice at the Americana Music awards including for his best-known song, Harlem River Blues.

Many have paid tribute to the artist on Twitter, with the musician Samantha Crain reflecting on their friendship: “Such a tremendous songwriter. He took me on two tours and always treated me so kindly. He understood struggle, he understood joy I saw him at the peaks and valleys of both through the 13 years I knew him.”

His friend and collaborator Jason Isbell said: “Had a lot of good times and made a lot of good music with JTE. So sad for his family tonight.”

 

The writer and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib praised Earle as “an incredible writer of narrative – stories that flourished beyond the music they were laid over”. the NPR music critic Ann Powers described his last album, The Saint of Lost Causes, as “a powerful road map of America … we’ve lost someone with real vision.”

Earle left behind his wife and young daughter. No cause of death was confirmed.

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28 minutes ago, AMIW said:

yikes saw him on a couple of tours when he played with the Dukes ...

way too young....

I'm pretty sure he was with his dad when I saw them - trying to find out where and when. May have been the Riverside, Toon, but drawing a blank. Very sorry to read of his death and that he's been troubled for so long.

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33 minutes ago, Eileen said:

I'm pretty sure he was with his dad when I saw them - trying to find out where and when.

I also suspect I saw him with his dad on one occasion, but I can't remember for sure.

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in his younger days he was the guitar tech for the dukes and sometimes appeared for just one or two songs , then he was the second guitarist in the days before alison moore or the mastersons wer in the band

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10 hours ago, Born To Walk said:

 

I was about to post the same song.

Rest In Peace, Little Rock 'n Roller. 

What a terrible loss. He was such a great musician. So sad.

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1 hour ago, Born To Walk said:

I also suspect I saw him with his dad on one occasion, but I can't remember for sure.

He toured with the Dukes through Europe behind the Jerusalem album back in 2002 or 2003. At end of the show, while he was helping putting away some of the equipment, I asked him if he could kindly pick up and give me one of his Dad's guitar pick that was lying onstage. I still got it in my wallet. Gone way too soon. Rest In Peace.

 

 

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A real talent gone away too soon indeed.

I found his music a year ago. Midnight at the movies was the first and then I had to buy all his records on CD. I was waiting for his next record eagerly...

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23 hours ago, Breakaway said:

A real talent gone away too soon indeed.

I found his music a year ago. Midnight at the movies was the first and then I had to buy all his records on CD. I was waiting for his next record eagerly...

Agreed. 'Midnight at the movies' is stunning. 'Harlem River Blues' is incredible as well. But all his repertoire is first class (and produced over such a short period of time). He was truly 'his father's son' in this respect.

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When my ex, who was in tears told me Justin had died I couldn't believe it. Gutted.

We seen him live at " The Cluny 2"  Newcastle and also at The Sage Gateshead at the Americana festival

The Cluny show was and still is the best non-Springsteen show I've been to, he covered  Racing In The Street it was class pure class.

We met him after the Sage show he signed her CD, she treasures it.

The album Harlem River Blues really struck a cord with me, there's not many albums that can keep me away from The Boss for as long as that album did.

It's so, so sad that he has died 

RIP Justin

 

"Troubled days are behind me now...."

 

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Over the last week I went through his all catalogue with even greater attention than I did before. I've always held him in high esteem, I'm not saying this because he just died, but man: what a musician he was. He sounded absolutely timeless from his debut album on.

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Great, great interview, with interesting references to you might know who (and no, I'm not referring to his dad).

 

I can't believe he wrote Rogers Park at 16! What an artist he was. 

One can only wonder at the fame and status he might have achieved, had he been born at a different time, when the music industry had guts, and people still took the time to listen.

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50 minutes ago, newcastle roy said:

I would have said, great! if the circumstances weren’t so sad. I guess it takes a hell of a lot of guts for Steve to record such a tribute album.

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