Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 10 of 2010 in 10 Days…. “Harlem River Blues”–Justin Townes Earle

Well, its that time of year again folks. 2010 has been as great of a year for music as I can recall. Tons of great albums from new bands, developing bands and a few aging acts have shown that they still have some classics in them. I’ll be spending the next 10 days listing off my favorites one by one…..


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Great performance of the title track…..

My first impression with Justin Townes Earle was his sublime cover of The Replacements “Can’t Hardly Wait” off of Midnight at the Movies – still his best album. I was pretty excited to hear Harlem River Blues after hearing a few tracks from it at the show he played at the Doug Fir on Valentines Day 2010. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

The albums high points occur during the juxtaposition of Earle’s neo-traditionalist country stylings and modern tales of life in New York City. Songs like “Working for the MTA” sound like Hank Williams classics but their lyrics give them a sense of currency. The album is greatly enriched by the excellent guitar playing of fellow Americana phenom Jason Isbell who really shines on “Christchurch Woman”.

Certainly my favorite Americana album of the year.

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