What’s not to love about a show at First Avenue on a kick ass day in Minneapolis? Last week American Aquarium set the bar for Justin Townes Earle to leap right the hell over. Those of you not familiar with Justin Townes Earle, well – should be. His father, Steve Earle is also one of the greatest folk lyricists still alive. This isn’t about him, however.
JTE opened with “Call Yo Mamma” while the not-quite-sold-out crowd finished shuffling in. He looked healthy and happier than the last time I saw him, which was opening for Jason Isbell (pre sobriety) – so it is good to see that he’s got that part of his life under control again and can focus on writing music. His set list seemed to favor content from his highly praised new album Single Mothers.
He talked about his recent marriage in jest, “So many girls in Nashville hate musicians because they hate their fathers. Growing up, I never wanted to be a musician – but look at me now….” Overall, a standard and too-be-expected show from JTE, which I mean in the very best way. He and Jason Isbell should lead long, productive lives so long as they keep their past where it is. If you’re into the bluesy-folk-country-rock, pick up his new album!