In Memoriam: Justin Townes Earle 1982 – 2020

By Andy Kahn Aug 24, 2020 7:38 am PDT

Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle died at the age of 38. His death was confirmed on his official social media accounts late in the evening on Sunday, August 23. The message stated:

It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin. So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys.

You will be missed dearly Justin.

Born on January 4, 1982, Justin Townes Earle, who was named after Townes Van Zandt, was the son of singer-songwriter Steve Earle and Carol-Ann Hunter. Justin was raised by his mother in Nashville and by his teens, he was performing professionally. In the mid-1990s, Justin re-connected with his father, who was sober after years of drug use. It was during that time that Justin’s own struggles with drug addiction began.

Justin’s debut EP, Yuma, was released in 2007. His first full-length release, The Good Life was issued by Bloodshot Records in 2008. Amanda Shires, Justin’s friend and collaborator, appeared on the album’s cover. Subsequent Bloodshot LPs followed with Midnight At The Movies in 2009, Harlem River Blues in 2010 and Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now in 2012.

Single Mothers (2014) and its companion Absent Fathers (2015) were issued by Vagrant Records. A third album making up a family trilogy, Kids In The Street, came out in 2017. Justin’s most recent album was The Saint Of Lost Causes, which was released by New West Records last year. Among those who contributed to Justin’s albums were Shires, Jason Isbell, Ketch Secor, Joshua Hedley, Caitlin Rose, Jeff Coffin, Rayland Baxter, Mike Mogis, Paul Niehaus, Mark Hedman, Matt Pence and several others.

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