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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Music: Justin Townes Earle

Let us pause a minute to sing the praises of Pandora.

This is not to say that there are not issues with the service. I think the "are you still listening" screen comes up too soon. I don't particularly like the way, if you have a mixed radio station with various and varied genres, oft-times those songs in a specific genre will play, and then it will move on to a different genre...I would rather all my genres were mixed up. It does do that sometimes, but more often than not, the "Valentine Brothers" preference reigns for 8 songs before moving on to the "Dead Men's Hollow" preference for 8 songs.

But these are smallish gripes...perhaps if my stations were a little more delineated that would help. Whatever, I like the service and enjoy it a great deal primarily because it will pop up new artists that I've never heard of. Justin Townes Earle is one of those artists.

Ok, not entirely fair to say I'd never heard of him...probably more accurate to say I never heard him. I enjoy his father's music a great deal but, in an effort to avoid the Julian Lennon debacle from so many years ago, as well as the Wallflowers incident, I tend to avoid the offspring of favored artists.

I did this with JTE to my own detriment.

Every time...EVERY time...a JTE song cycles through on Pandora I find myself enjoying it enough to go see who it is. I mean EVERY time. That hasn't happened in a while with any artist. I'm seldom that captured.

Thing is, I really put my finger on what it is that's grabbing my attention. Familiar enough to be comfortable, different enough to be intriguing? Something like that maybe. For instance, here's him doing a song that's not even his, and isn't all that far removed from the original, yet I like more than I ever liked it before:

But have a listen to just about anything on his album "Midnight at the Movies" to hear what he can do with his own stuff. There is no apparent pulling away from his father's legacy, but neither is he trying to own it...it's just there. It's good. It's better than good.

Have a listen at this one:

He deserves more than being known as "Steve Earle's kid"...and I think later he will be.

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