Live Video: Justin Townes Earle at SXSW

photo by Brittney Bollay

Carrying the names of your famous father, Steve Earle, and the fabled Texan troubadour Townes Van Zandt leaves a lot for a guy to live up to… and through. For Justin Townes Earle, there’s no escaping his past, but the NYC by way of Nashville songwriter has lived up to his legacy but in his own way and on his own terms. His songs may grow from American roots and his southern twang is unmistakably “country,” but his father’s rebellious streak led him toward punk early on, giving even his sometimes gentle songs a sharp bite. As both Papa Earle and Van Zandt have had storied pasts fit for legend, Justin he has endured his own battles with substance abuse and addiction, conflicts with his father, his mother’s broken heart, and lots of personal drama, including rehab and arrest, much of which you’ll find laid bare in the songs of his excellent, and very recently released, album, Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me. During SXSW, Justin performed a handful of these songs during KEXP’s hosted sessions at the Austin Convention Center for the official Radio Day Stage, featuring performances curated by fellow independent stations like The Current, KCRW, and KUT. Here’s Justin Townes Earle performing live for KEXP and SXSW guests:

or watch the entire 30-minute performance here:

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