As bad as 2020 has been for just about everything, believe it or not, country music got it worse than just about every other segment of music, entertainment, sports, etc. when it came to both the amount, and the major names that passed away in the last 12 months.
Justin Townes Earle
Singer, songwriter, and second generation performer Justin Townes Earle died of an accidental drug overdose, the Medical Examiners Office in Nashville has ruled, and the family of Justin Townes Earle revealed on Tuesday (12/1). Justin Townes Earle was found dead at the age of 38 on August 23rd.
“The record is called J.T. because Justin was never called anything else until he was nearly grown. Well, when he was little, I called him Cowboy,” says Steve Earle. “For better or worse, right or wrong, I loved Justin Townes Earle more than anything else on this earth.
Steve Earle and his backing band The Dukes will be releasing a record of songs written by Steve Earle’s late son Justin Townes Earle who passed away in late August at the age of 38. Though details are still coming together, Steve Earle announced the album on Wednesday, September 16th.
Saving Country Music has been able to confirm from numerous sources that in the weeks leading up to Justin Townes Earle’s death, he had been suffering from a severe case of pneumonia, and had been hospitalized due to the illness. At the time of his death, Earle was still recovering from the condition.
The Metro Nashville Police Department has now confirmed they found Justin Townes Earle at his apartment in the West End Park neighborhood of Nashville after receiving a request for a welfare check from a friend. When police arrived at the residence, they found no signs of struggle or foul play.
With his aching, painful delivery of poetically elegant songs ripped straight out of his own biography and smeared with tears and the residues of addiction, Justin Townes Earle embodied everything you wanted from the tragic troubadour holding on just enough to perform for you.
According to social media posts on Justin Townes Earle’s official Facebook and Instagram accounts, the singer, songwriter, second generation performer, and Nashville native has passed away the age of 38. The news was released on Sunday evening, August 23rd, though no cause of death has been given at this time.
The curtain has closed on the touring and performing career of one of America’s most iconic women of music, whose influence has been incredible in both the country and rock world, and who’s considered one of the greatest living legends of music still alive. Wanda Jackson, a.k.a. the Queen of Rockabilly is hanging up her red boots.
Bloodshot Records was a stepping stone, and a repository for artists who were too ornery to be signed elsewhere. And that was what was cool about them. It was a punk attitude imprinted on country, and their verbiage about leading an insurgency inspired others to pick up the charge to take country music back, including this very website.
The 10th annual 30A Songwriters Festival set for January 18-21, 2019 in Walton County, Florida will take on extra significance this year, and not just because it’s the event’s 10th Anniversary. Located in the Florida Panhandle, and just west of where the devastating Hurricane Michael made landfall in October.
30A Songwriters Festival, Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Justin Townes Earle, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, Radney Foster, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, The Secret Sisters, The War and Treaty
The punk band NOFX decided that the deadliest massacre in modern U.S. history would make for good joke fodder this weekend, and used country fans and artists as the punch line when they took the stage at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas was also the site of the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre.
For many artists, the announcement of a solo acoustic tour may make concert goers feel like they’re getting something less than the full experience, despite the “intimate evening” promised on the tour posters. But Justin Townes Earle is one of the small handful of artists where its arguably even more enticing to see live by himself.
“Hedley’s initiation into the Third Man family solidifies not only the end of Bro Country’s stranglehold on the country music industry, but also Third Man’s place as the greatest country label on the planet,” says the Jack White-owned label after signing Nashville fixture Josh Hedley to the label.
Folks who just hopped on the country insurgency train when they heard about Chris Stapleton or Sturgill Simpson may wonder what the deal is with a guy like Justin Townes Earle. Maybe they recognize the name and draw the connection to his famous father, but is he something special, or just another name in “Americana,” whatever that means?
The Sadies are the mod country band from Canada offering some of the most strikingly rich soundscapes in all of roots music. Justin Townes Earle is the second generation songwriter from alt-country royal blood who’s made a legacy all his own. And they have joined forces to tout new albums on a tour that started in California earlier this week.
Not since Jimmy Martin was alive and kicking, or the heyday of Hank Williams III have we seen quotes so unabashed, vulgar-ridden, and pointed about modern country music as the comments that Justin Townes Earle delivered. When the interviewer asked Earle about Bro-Country, that is where things really got heated.
Justin Townes Earle is the newest signee to New West Records, and will be releasing his debut album on the label Kids In The Street on May 26th. The release will find Earle coming back into the Americana fold after releasing his last two records Single Mothers and Absent Fathers on Vagrant Records out of California.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
Reviews have been mixed for the show so far, but country music listeners may have an extra incentive to watch the program. Featured on the 10-episode series has been a slew of independent country artists who will hopefully see decent paydays and a bump in exposure. There are also ample country music references and jokes in the series.
American Aquarium, Ashley Monroe, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Corb Lund, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Netflix, Shooter Jennings, The Ranch, The Turnpike Troubadours
“Some people will say, and have said, that I’m trying to run from country, but I’m never going to make anything other than a country record. As soon as I open my mouth, it’s going to be a country song. . . but it doesn’t make the think pieces any less amusing.”
Being willing to go where a song takes you is the challenge in the heart of every music lover. Hopefully one of these songs released in 2015 will take you some place you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. These songs were selected on their own merit, not from the strength of the artist or album from where they came.
Brennen Leigh, Cody Jinks, Dawes, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Evan Felker, James McMurtry, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Musgraves, Love and Theft, Mo Pitney, Randy Rogers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunny Sweeney, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
Barrence Whitfield is not a name you’re going to see praised to the rafters or land on every end-of-year “best of” list, but his influence and the power of his music is unwavering, and Under The Savage Sky is as good of a place to start discovering his genius as any. The way he’s able to sing with a sincerity to his soul tones, and then rear back into a wild scream is the stuff a totally immersive musical experience is made of.