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Alien on Acid said in Febbraio 25th, 2009 at 16:01

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE: Midnight At The Movies – (Bloodshot Records, 2009)

If being the son of one of America’s greatest songwriters isn’t a hard enough burden to carry on your shoulders, how about sharing the name with one of American’s forgotten legends. Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve Earle and name adoptee of the late Townes Van Zandt has not only been busy at work carving his own niche in the Americana world, but stepping outside of the shadow that people like Jakob Dylan could never have achieved. After honing his chops in the Nashville area, The Good Life was his humble introduction to the world at large. Midnight at the Movies is a record that tests the endurance of a rising star in the south, and carries the potential to shoot him out of the bar and into the Ryman Auditorium. (John Bohannon)

01. Midnight at the Movies
02. What I Mean to You
03. They Killed John Henry
04. Mama’s Eyes
05. Dirty Rag
06. Can’t Hardly Wait
07. Black Eyed Suzy
08. Poor Fool
09. Halfway to Jackson
10. Someday I’ll Be Forgiven for This
11. Walk Out
12. Here We Go Again

The title of Justin Townes Earle’s sophomore outing seems apt indeed. There’s a distinctly cinematic quality to much of the material on Midnight At The Movies, due out on March 3, 2009.

Earle, the son of alt-country maverick Steve Earle, paints a series of evocative vignettes, cutting a broad swath across the landscape of Americana with a mature and thoughtful follow-up to The Good Life, his well-received 2008 debut.

The title track, for instance, drenched in a world-weary ennui, sounds uncannily like an Edward Hopper painting set to music. “What I Mean To You” is pure Tin Pan Alley with a strong strain of tongue-in-cheek, Earle’s whistling adding a layer of irony to an otherwise conventional love song.

“They Killed John Henry” starts as a traditional country blues number, but there’s a relative delicacy to Earle’s arrangement as first violin, then a backing chorus and additional strings are introduced. Somehow Earle makes this one sound both traditional and thoroughly his own. No mean feat given how seminal both subject and context are.

“Mama’s Eyes” is a raw and wrenching declaration of individuality, all the stronger given Earle’s well-known frère. It’s powerful stuff indeed, but Earle follows it with a short and sweet burst of dazzling fretwork on “Dirty Rag,” a delightful instrumental interlude preceding the disc’s lone rocker (albeit gently so), a cover of The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait.”

Country blues is an obvious source of inspiration for Earle, apparent in the jaunty string band tempo of “Black Eyed Suzie” and the chugging train-rhythm of “Halfway To Jackson.” But he seems equally at home in the honky-tonks with “Poor Fool,” a classic , tear-in-your-beer barroom shuffle.

Earle reveals a tender side on “Someday I’ll Be Forgiven For This,” a surprisingly clear-eyed and poignant tale of betrayal and the aching loneliness left when love simply fades away, while the blustery bravado of “Walk Out” provides transparent cover for a heart equally broken. And set closer “Here We Go Again,” with both melody and wordplay worthy of Hank Williams, is simply stunning, its air of resignation in the face of love’s inevitability reflecting a whole world o’ wisdom. The even dozen tunes clock in at less than thirty-three minutes, yet nothing feels left out, testament to Earle’s keen eye for telling detail and admirably concise storytelling.

There’s little doubt that lineage has opened a few doors for Justin Townes Earle, but “Midnight At The Movies” shows him both capable and determined to stand on his own, and reveals an exceptionally gifted writer and performer.

Highly recommended!
– Written by John Taylor – –


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buzzandmusic said in Febbraio 25th, 2009 at 16:04

Thanks Mr Alien on Acid:-)


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Generale Lee said in Febbraio 25th, 2009 at 16:58

se il figlio del grande Steve ce lo raccomanda Alien…


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buzz said in Febbraio 25th, 2009 at 18:37

……….state certi che e’ un buon prodotto!Alien mette il suo marchio di fabbrica su tutto e di inchiappettate non da’,con el dovute eccezioni eh eh eh eh e eh ma qui non siamo sul pianeta Madonna e Povia:-)))))))))))siamo on Acid e on rock yeah rock una delle parole piu’ belle del mondo……………


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Alien on Acid said in Febbraio 25th, 2009 at 18:48
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buzzandmusic said in Febbraio 25th, 2009 at 22:21

gracias muchas:-)


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Aloisio said in Febbraio 26th, 2009 at 12:38

Speriamo che radiodeejay consideri il disco degli u2 degno di essere trasmesso, sennò sarebbe un vero dramma. 😉


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buzzandmusic said in Febbraio 26th, 2009 at 15:23

a Linus che vive qua e a Milano se lo incontro per strada in auto lo prendo sotto:-)))


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