I saw Justin Townes Earle live in Stockholm about two weeks before I went on my first trip ever to the United States this summer and I remember listening to his new album while riding on a bus into Tillamook County at the Oregon Coast and thinking that is a hell of an American soundtrack while I was being captured by the landscapes and the small communities we drove through.
Justin is an amazing songwriter and it’s sort of surprising whenever I read that this guy is only 35 years old, because he has given us so many stories and he has lived in so many places in this big country, from Rogers Park in Chicago to New York and Nashville and of course the Appalachians in the rustbelt that won Donald Trump’s election.
Kids In The Street is the last part of an album trilogy that started with Single Mothers and continued with Absent Fathers. Kids is a very rootsy record and Justin Townes Earle surely knows his roots and he knows to play with them virtuosly. He is the guy that even can write songs about a Toyota Corolla.
“Hair up high and seat reared back
Looked like she should be driving something long and black
All I’m asking you
Brother do you know her?
Pretty little thing riding by in a champagne Corolla” (Champagne Corolla)
“it always feels organic, never mannered. See the title track, acoustic guitar slicing through a pedal steel reverb-haze, Earle waxing nostalgic for a childhood in the 1990s with a timelessness that could conjure the 1890s just as well.” (Rolling Stone)