Justin Townes Earle, Whelans


Marcus O’Sullivan writes.
More than any other genre, roots/Americana is lifestyle based. The credibility of the performer is absolutely crucial. Everything emanates from a suspension of disbelief because nobody rides the rails anymore and anybody hitchhiking is likely to wind up knifed behind a truckstop. That’s why you’d be forgiven for approaching this gig with some trepidation, considering dude is the son of rockstar Steve Earle. Spoiled rich kid singing the Blues?

Well luckily for us Steve Earle’s a bit of a dick and walked out on Justin’s mom ages ago. So instead of a play-acting brat we got a genuine roughed-up drifter with a loveable rascal personality and powerful charisma. Seriously, confessions surrounding major alcohol and chemical dependencies have never sounded more charming. It was just him and his acoustic guitar up on stage captivating the whole room, with no bullshit. And it was great.

The openers were an illustration in just how important authenticity is. Bullshit weekend takers singing about sweet fuck all. Voice from a (failed) X-Factor audition, songs you forget the minute they stop playing. When they came back up on stage for one accompaniment the gulf in class was painfully evident.

Great gig Justin. Keep on ramblin’, keep on getting into scrapes, keep riding the highs and lows and keep writing songs about them.

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