Justin Townes Earle ‘Harlem River Blues’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#250 in the Series) is Justin Townes Earle, Harlem River Blues. (Bloodshot Records)

I’ll be the first to admit. I ‘think’ I had heard of Justin Townes Earle. But I’m not sure. He’s an Americana musician and that pretty much is my favorite genre for years now. Somehow, Justin slid through the cracks.

Justin Townes Earle

This week changed that.  I was watching a few  ‘DVRed’episodes of David Letterman last night. (I can’t believe he didn’t have ‘Mike Singletary’ on to discuss his firing.) On Tuesday this week, Justin was the musical guest.

To say the least I could not have liked his performance more!  He was outstanding.  I then was able to see that his latest album, Harlem River Blues, was available via amazon download for $6.99. As of this writing, it still is. It can be found here.

After downloading the album I’ve found out that I not only liked the track from the show, but all of it was outstanding.  Justin Townes Earle wrote the entire disc with just a little help on one track.

Justin’s is supported by Bryn Davies on stand-up bass, Jason Isbell on guitar and Bryan Owings on drums as a main band.

Justin and Bryn Davies

This is one of those discs that can be played over and over with-out a bad track. My only concern is I like it so much that I might burn myself out on it. I’ve already played about 10 times. You will too!

One last thing. This is entry #250 for this site. I try and feature special albums on these milestone posts. This continues the tradition. Big Time.

(LATE UPDATE: I’ve also now purchased Justin’s ’08 and ’09 releases and they are both outstanding as well.  He even covers The Replacements’ Can’t Hardly Wait. I’ve included it as a bonus below)

Here’s his tour schedule.

….and yes, He is his son.


Track Listing

  1. Harlem River Blues – Earle      2:48
  2. One More Night in Brooklyn – Earle      3:04
  3. Move Over Mama –  Earle      2:00
  4. Workin’ for the MTA – Earle      3:48
  5. Wanderin’ – Earle      2:38
  6. Slippin’ and Slidin’ –  Earle      2:58
  7. Christchurch Woman –  Earle      4:11
  8. Learning to Cry – Earle      2:41
  9. Ain’t Waitin’ – Earle      2:16
  10. Rogers Park – Earle, Melton     4:27
  11. Harlem River Blues (Reprise) – Earle      0:31


  • Jeff Coffin – Saxophone
  • Bryn Davies – Bass (Upright), Bowed Bass, Cello,Vocal Harmony
  • Justin Townes Earle – Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals
  • Josh Hedley – Fiddle, Vocal Harmony
  • Jason Isbell –  Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
  • Phil Lassiter – Trumpet
  • Paul Niehaus – Guitar (Steel)
  • Bryan Owings -Drums, Percussion
  • Ketch Secor – Harmonica
  • Skylar Wilson –  Organ, Percussion, Piano, Piano (Electric), Producer, Synthesizer, Vibraphone

See our piece on JTE, Nothing is Going to Change the Way You Look at me Now.

See more ‘Americana’ albums that we’ve featured.

Back to ‘Cool Album’ HOMEPAGE


Back to ‘Cool Album’ HOMEPAGE

Justin Townes Earle Website

Justin on Wikipedia

Justin on AllMusic

Purchase Justin via Amazon

Bryn Davies on Wikipedia

Jason Isebell Website

Bloodshot Records Website

Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Brian Martin (10 Jan 2011, 15:46)

    Probably as Justin would have it, you didn’t mention his lineage. He is the son of Steve Earle and his middle name is a tribute to one of Steve’s good friends and a great songwriter Townes Van Zandt

    • Larry Carta (10 Jan 2011, 15:56)

      Yeah, that wasn’t by accident. I just quickly mentioned that ‘He is his son.’ near the end. I was looking at many stories about Justin. It seemed like many I read turned into stories about Steve, not Justin. I think I’ll wait for all those stories that start referring to Steve as Justin’s dad. Not the other way around.

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