Album: Justin Townes Earle, Harlem River Blues, Bloodshot

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The Independent Culture

Steve Earle’s lanky boy’s fourth album. It’s a bluecountry gospel-rockabilly grunge record with soul inflections (well, horns).

It also has Jason Isbell on it, which is always a good thing. The upshot? One of the more charming downand- dismal-me American roots albums of recent times. He may have a slightly world-weary voice, but it works as a vehicle for the kind of feeling Justin is interested conveying, like a lighter, more bedraggled Johnny Cash. With beautifully austere arrangements and playing to boot. Recommended.