By all measures, Justin Townes Earle should be one heck of a songwriter. The son of musical journeyman Steve Earle, Justin also carries the middle name of songwriting legend Townes Van Zandt wherever he goes. Earle lives up to the moniker and more on his outing for Bloodshot, The Good Life.
Produced by R.S. Field and Steve Poulton, The Good Life traffics in Grand Old Opry style country, throwing in a modern twisted ballad from time to time for good measure. It’s on his laid back takes – "Who Am I To Say" and "Turn Out My Lights" – that Earle’s voice gets quiet with resolve, and becomes eerily close to his father’s. But, this young one’s got a bit o’ the Nashville in him, and Justin Townes Earle walks and talks with a clear, pure baritone, sending "Hard Livin’" and "What Do You Do When You’re Lonesome" straight to the square dancing halls.
There are diversions, though. "South Georgia Sugar Babe" has a distinct zydeco feel to it. And, the disc’s highpoint, "Lone Pine Hill," points towards a very bright future with it’s dark, comprehensive undertones for Justin Townes Earle and his mixed bag of roots music on The Good Life.
The Good Life is out now on Bloodshot Records.