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Justin Townes Earle is wiser than anyone younger, and younger than anyone wiser. I don’t remember the first time I heard Justin play. I do remember, however, the first lyric of his that stuck in my mind. It was December of the early 2000s at The Radio Cafe, a venue that no longer exists in Nashville. Singing along to his characteristic, piston-like strumming, the words stretched out of his mouth: “It’s taking all my strength / just not to shed a tear / ’cause I’m spending Christmas / in state custody this year.” Like I said, it wasn’t the first of his shows I’d seen, but it was the first one where he wasn’t “Steve’s kid” anymore. I was sure he was going to be a star.

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Profile for Native

Native | February 2013 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Justin Townes Earle, Karoake Cab, Kangaroo Press, Poetry Sucks, Odessa Rose, The Stone Fox, No. 308, Chucklet and Hone...

Native | February 2013 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Justin Townes Earle, Karoake Cab, Kangaroo Press, Poetry Sucks, Odessa Rose, The Stone Fox, No. 308, Chucklet and Hone...