Justin Townes Earle


Stories are told about a lanky, mercurial country blues man from Nashville whose songs made the music world swoon and whose self-destructive behavior sent his friends and colleagues reeling between protective love and resigned exasperation. This man was a doomed genius, somebody we listened to more closely for fear he’d soon be gone. This man was Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt and Justin Townes Earle, three generations of honored ghosts.

Songwriter Justin Townes Earle, a Nashville native and a modern blues and country artist of rare talent, has died at 38 years old. He was the son of iconic Americana artist Steve Earle and Carol Ann Hunter Earle, his third wife. Named after Steve’s troubled friend Townes Van Zandt, Justin Townes channeled no small amount of darkness into songs that brimmed with life and old-world swing.