Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Record Review - Justin Townes Earle

Published in the April issue of The Big Issue.

Justin Townes Earle
Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
Bloodshot Records / Inertia

Yet another record from troubadour Justin Townes Earle, yet another direction change from this perpetually poignant and painfully hip artist whose tumultuous past is well documented but whose musical journey is still only just beginning to unfurl.

Of course, Nothing’s Gonna Change… is still steeped in the soft country tones he rose to prominence on, it still references the dark folk stylings of Woody Guthrie and Earle’s father, Steve, but in this instance, via a smattering of subtle horn work and a sprinkling of keys throughout, Earle tags his love of Memphis soul – extremely well.

It’s not a big, bold soul statement by any means (perhaps with the exception of the rollicking R&B of ‘Baby’s Got A Bad Idea’), but the blood of Memphis, of the south, runs deep within the majority of works here; ‘Maria’ with its shimmering organ, the horn-laden ‘Memphis In The Rain’, the Otis Redding-like ‘Look The Other Way’.

And then of course, the heart-rending title track and ‘Unfortunately, Anna’, show exactly why Earle is so good with just his voice and minimal accompaniment – yet another positive step in the evolution of Justin Townes Earle.

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