Justin Townes Earle @ ABC1 27-01-09

February 2, 2009

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
ABC1, Glasgow, January 27 * * * *

Another Celtic Connections show and another puzzling choice of venue as the cavernous surrounds of the ABC1 played host to another meagre crowd. Possibly chosen in order to cater for seating, the hall felt distinctly sterile before the arrival of tonight’s support Justin Townes Earle. But within moments of the tall Nashvillian, and son of ‘hardcore troubadour’ Steve, taking to the stage – complete with mandolin/harmonica-toting sidekick Cory Younts – Earle’s Southern warmth and charm had started to work its magic on what was a receptive audience.
Earle’s music, at its purest, wouldn’t be out of place on the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack – it evokes the spirit of a pre-war America as imagined on the silver screen. It was at its most emotive on They Killed John Henry and particularly Mama’s Eyes, both setting the tone in style for what was a thoroughly absorbing display by the edgy yet charismatic singer.
Rounding off proceedings with the title track of his latest album, The Good Life’s honky tonk swing ensured the warmest of responses from the crowd and brisk business at the merch table.

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