I was listening to Renegade Radio Nashville a couple of weeks ago (a great station by the way) and I heard a great song called Harlem River Blues by a singer/songwriter called Justin Townes Earle.
Just goes to show you can always miss some great musicians & songwriters.
Now obviously I had heard the surname Earle - as in one Steve Earle and with a middle name like Townes, I guessed this must be the son of Steve. And I was right.
So I checked on the net for some info on Justin.
He released his debut EP the 6 track Yuma in 2007 and followed it up a year later with his second album, The Good Life a year later.
Yuma is just Justin and his guitar with a singer songwriter Americana feel whilst his first proper album The Good Life has more of a polished band feel about it with an emphasis on a more pure country feel.
Justin has built on this sound for his next album 2009's Midnight At The Movies. The album is more varied than his previous two outings but sticks to the Country template.
However, Justin broke the mold slightly for his next album 2010's Harlem River Blues. This is the album that caught my attention and I bought as soon as I heard the brilliant title track.
Harlem River Blues is another step forward both in songwriting and performance from Midnight.. The performances are more assured, the songwriting more honed and interesting and the variation in instruments gives it a wider screen soundscape.
It was two years later that a follow up was released. It came in the form of Nothing's Going To Change The Way You Feel About Me Now. It's another gem of an album. Totally different in tone from Harlem.. with more of a Muscle Shoals/Stax feel.
The album includes horns and has a looser more bluesy vibe. I detected Springsteen, Van Morrison & even the Beach Boys influences when I first played it.
The songwriting is even better than Harlem, which is saying something and the production compliments the songs perfectly.
How he's not huge is a mystery to me.
I love seeing an artist grow with every release and I look forward to seeing where Justin takes us next.
Check him out, I think you'll be impressed.
Twitter - @JustinTEarle