by Dan Ferguson
Justin Townes Earle
Harlem River Blues
The new Harlem River Blues marks Justin Townes Earle's first recording since relocating to Brooklyn from Nashville. Ironically, Earle returned to Nashville to make the recording, though, draws heavily from the New York experience in his lyrics. His third album for Bloodshot Records, Earle continues to evolve, not to mention mature, in all ways positive with this album. His sound, while rooted in traditional music if anything, avoids any hints of staidness as he crafts a collection of ear-catching songs in a plethora of rootsy settings from country-up swing to ramblin' rock & rollers (the leadoff title track a true keeper) to the folksier sounds of the best of his prior two albums. Most noteworthy is his voice which sounds more confident and clearer than ever. With Harlem River Blues, JTE continues to be a talent on the rise. Recommended. Visit www.bloodshotrecords.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)