With a dad like singer/writer/actor Steve Earle and a name like Townes (after legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt), Justin Townes Earle was pretty much destined to get into the music business. And probably controlled substances.
When Justin was fifteen, his “outlaw country” namesake Van Zandt died from complications of alcoholism. Throughout his childhood, his father Steve spent a lot of time doing drugs or in jail. When Justin got older, he joined Steve’s band, the Dukes — only to be fired over his growing affinity for drugs. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Needless to say, by the time Justin Townes Earle struck out on his own, he had some demons to exorcise. On the plus side, making great music has never been one of his problems, and Earle’s last two albums — Midnight at the Movies (2009), and Harlem River Blues (2010) — have shown that he’s more than just Steve Earle’s kid.
And Earle’s demons, fortunately, have been expelled. He had to sacrifice his fall 2010 tour — including a stop at the Casbah — but he’s clean now, and his San Diego show has been rescheduled to this Saturday at 5pm.
The Casbah show has actually been scheduled three times — from September 2010, to February 27, to February 26. Earle seems determined to play San Diego, though, so you should return the favor and go see him do it. New York-based songwriter Dawn Landes will open. Get your tickets here.