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.
There’s nothing new about staring at the “New Artist” nominees for a country music industry awards show and being bewildered at the names you see. It’s an annual exercise. This year the names included in the CMA’s “New Artist of the Year” category were no different.
It’s that penultimate moment—that tipping point—when a town or neighborhood known for it’s cool, rich, and creatively-vibrant culture becomes so awash with interlopers, gentrifying hipsters, and retiring baby boomers that the critical mass point is reached in redevelopment, rising rents, and real estate prices and the entire thing implodes.
Amy Lashley, Caitlin Rose, Chuck Mead, Cory Branan, East Nashville, Guy Clark, Jason Isbell, Joe McMahan, Justin Townes Earle, Kevin Gordon, Lindi Ortega, Liz Rose, Marty Robbins, Mike Grimes, Nashville, Otis Gibbs, Roy Acuff, Sergio Webb, Skip Litz, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Susanna Clark, Todd Snider, Townes Van Zandt, Tristen, Waylon Jennings
Tristen is not a hunter, she’s a gatherer, listening intently to any song or influence regardless of format or era, and eagerly mining the little nuggets of nostalgic, retro gold that allow the warmth of memories to flow freely from the inner mind of listeners to lovingly embellish a song. She then embeds this warmth into her completely original, modern-day compositions resulting in music that is both fresh and hauntingly familiar.
Forget all your stuffy old outmoded notions of what Nashville is. Right now Nashville is the center of the music universe in so many more ways than what is represented by the few city blocks of old houses and mini-rise office buildings on Music Row. Right here, right now, Nashville is the place to be for independent music. It’s Haight Ashbury circa 1965. It’s Guy Clark’s kitchen in the movie Heartworn Highways.
Amanda Isbell, Amanda Shires, ATO Records, Austin Lucas, Bloodshot Records, Caitlin Rose, Drive By Truckers, Escondido, Guy Clark, Heartworn Highways, Jash Hedley, Jason Isbell, Jonny Fritz, Justin Townes Earle, Nikki Lane, Rayland Baxter, Roger Miller, Shonna Tucker, Skylar Wilson, Spencer Cullum, Sturgill Simpson, Texas Playboys, Thrift Store Cowboys, Tristen
On Friday night (5-4-12) we attended a show of reigning Saving Country Music Artist of the Year Justin Townes Earle at Antone’s in Austin, TX’s increasingly-crowded west downtown district. The Bloodshot Records-signed son of Steve Earle was in town in support of his latest record Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now, with a full band behind him for one of the first times on tour.