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Justin Townes Earle brings new album, show to Radio Radio

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Justin Townes Earle pulls into Radio Radio this Thursday, toting a bagful of songs from his new Harlem River Blues, an album that will - years from now - be remembered as a catalyst for him breaking into Americana music royalty. Already close because of his family name, he has overcome father Steve's lengthy legacy. The new record is beautiful (the Roy Bittan-esque "Born to Run" era piano sound is freakin' gorgeous), lyrically interesting and the music is classic country played for 2010. It's not a throwback, as much as Jamey Johnson's new album isn't; both are artists rooted in the bedrock of the 60's and 70's country, understanding each Faron Young and Waylon, Willie and Hanks, and 60's pop too. But what comes out of Earle quite a combination; the writing and musical influences Earle tosses into his musical blender spits out music that isn't exactly country, not quite rock, but wholly both.

"One More Night in Brooklyn" is Ben E. King pop music, while the harmonica on "Aint' Waitin'" drags you into a song that choogles musically, with the lyric "listening to the country station on satellite radio". As the gifted do, he's able to convey more in one line than nearly all the assembly line country pop coming Nashville would take a full song to not capture as well. Album closer "Rogers Park" is prettiest sounding song of the year.

A step removed from Nashville with his home now in NYC (like his Dad), you can still hear the sound of his twang echo through the songs. Mature, soulful and endlessly interesting lyrics create an album that Earle himself may someday recall as one of his best. I would bet that I will.

SHOW: Radio Radio (Fountain Square)
Thursday, September 16 - 8pm
$12-$15

An in-store performance prior to Earle's full-band show
LUNA Music
5202 N. College Ave. - Broad Ripple
Free

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