Midnight at the Movies

Midnight at the Movies

by Justin Townes Earle
3.5 2


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Midnight at the Movies

"I am my father's son/ I've never known when to shut up/I ain't foolin' no one/I am my father's son." These words lead off the fourth song on Justin Townes Earle's second album, Midnight at the Movies, and given that many people still know him as the son of iconic singer/songwriter Steve Earle, it's a brave and startling statement. But at the same time, much like his 2008 debut The Good Life, Earle's second album works because he seems determined not be his father's son; the tone and the feel of this music owes precious little to the family line, and Earle sounds appreciably more relaxed, confident, and in control here than he did on his fine debut. Earle's music has one toe tangled in hillbilly tradition on the folk ballad pastiche "They Killed John Henry," the uptempo string band number "Black Eyed Suzy," and the honky tonk swing of "Poor Fool," but he can write about love and life with a clear and unaffected eye that's effortlessly timeless. The title song is a musical snapshot that gets its Nighthawks details just right, "Someday I'll Be Forgiven for This" and "Here We Go Again" are painfully intimate examinations of what can happen between people who care for each other, and while "Poor Fool" and "Walk Out" sound jaunty, they have a weight behind them that's telling. And while Earle doesn't sound like a guy who should be covering the Replacements, his version of "Can't Hardly Wait" finds a sweet heartache at the core that Paul Westerberg was afraid to show in his recording. Midnight at the Movies plays more like a subtle step forward for Justin Townes Earle than a quantum leap, but if the The Good Life suggested he was a talent to watch, this record confirms that he's a new writer to be reckoned with who doesn't need to trade on his family name.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/03/2009
Label: Bloodshot Records
UPC: 0744302016023
catalogNumber: 160
Rank: 53697

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Justin Townes Earle   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Resonator
Pete Finney   Dobro,Steel Guitar
Bryan Owings   Drums
Steve Poulton   Vibes
Skylar Wilson   Organ,Piano,Vibes,Bandleader,Wurlitzer
Cory Younts   Banjo,Harmonica,Mandolin,Piano,Human Whistle,Vocal Harmony
Bryn Davies   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Paul Westerberg   Composer
R.S. Field   Producer
Steve Poulton   Producer,Audio Production
Adam Bednarik   Engineer
Joshua Black Wilkins   Artwork
Justin Townes Earle   Composer
Cory Younts   Whistle
Brenton Stanley   Assistant Tracking Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Midnight at the Movies 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
michjandCA More than 1 year ago
Being the son of Alt-Country rebel Steve Earle (some tough shoes to fill indeed) this album shows that Justin may have listened to more Johnny Cash records than his dad did. Songs like "They Killed John Henry" and "Halfway to Jackson" are fine odes to the man in black. Truth to tell, Justin actually blazes his own trail on this record and is more loose and honkey tonk than his dad. However, his papa's influence does show up on some tunes such as "Someday I'll be forgiven for this", a touching goodbye song to a lover and ""Here we go again" which closes this very good record.
Stork2009 More than 1 year ago
Not the usual crap that comes from Nashville, great cover of Can't Hardly Wait