the guest apartment: justin townes earle
  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2010

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"When we start losing the roots, we become terrible pop music." It's a little slice of wisdom (not to mention fantastic reasoning as to why country music has careened down a scary, scary course the last decade or so), courtesy of a Tennessee songwriter who is doing his part to preserve a piece of country history.

By his namesake alone, Justin Townes Earle pays tribute (whether he likes it or not) to two titans of country songwriting. But Earle's fascination with the genre is a bit more antiquated, escorting him a bit further back than the work of both his father Steve and Townes Van Zandt. Leadbelly, Emmett Miller, Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Buck Owens; these are singers it's evident the 28 year old singer-songwriter holds dear. Their passion, urgency, and absolute authenticity is written all over the batch of country folk songs JTE prepared for a recent visit to the Guest Apartment. - David Pitz

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