The Good Life

The Good Life

by Justin Townes Earle
5.0 1


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The Good Life

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: Justin Townes Earle's father is Steve Earle, and the sort of folks most likely to be interested in Justin's debut album The Good Life are the same kind of music fans who've been following his dad's work for years. Thankfully for Justin, that's not because he sounds all that much like his old man; Justin's voice is sweeter and clearer, and his clear fondness for old-school country gives The Good Life a pleasing feeling of understatement that's significantly different from Steve's tougher, more rock-oriented work. But if Justin is reaching back to the glory days of the Grand Ole Opry on numbers like "What Do You Do When You're Lonesome," "Hard Livin'," and the title tune, he also reveals a more contemplative side on thoughtful, no-frills singer/songwriter pieces such as the confessional "Who Am I to Say," the period gunman's saga of "Lone Pine Hill," and "Turn out My Lights," a plaintive meditation on loneliness and heartbreak. On the latter songs, Justin's music more closely resembles Steve's, but while the themes and approaches are similar, Justin isn't afraid to sound vulnerable, and the youthful modesty of both the songs and the performances works in their favor; this doesn't suggest the work of someone following Steve Earle's template but of a songwriter who has dealt with a set of similar demons and has a corresponding but distinct perspective on how they've impacted his life. The simple arrangements and hands-off production add to the gentle but decisive impact of The Good Life, and the result is a fine calling card for a young singer/songwriter who may not have worked out every last detail of his sound but clearly knows where he's going, and it happens to be a place worth visiting.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/2008
Label: Bloodshot Records
UPC: 0744302015125
catalogNumber: 151
Rank: 29582

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Justin Townes Earle   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Guitar (Tremolo),Guitar (Baritone)
Brad Jones   Electric Bass,Hammond Organ
Pete Finney   Dobro,Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Bryan Owings   Drums
Steve Poulton   Electric Guitar
Skylar Wilson   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Keith Brogdon   Drums
Chris Scruggs   Lap Steel Guitar
Manfred Jerome   Tambourine
Dustin Welch   Banjo,Background Vocals
Cory Younts   Harmonica,Mandolin,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
JTE   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Guitar (Baritone)
Bryn Davies   Cello,Background Vocals,Acoustic Bass
Stan Wilson   Piano,Hammond B3

Technical Credits

R.S. Field   Producer,Audio Production
Brad Jones   Engineer
Richard McLaurin   Engineer
Steve Poulton   Producer,Audio Production
Adam Bednarik   Engineer
Joshua Black Wilkins   Artwork
Justin Townes Earle   Composer

Customer Reviews

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The Good Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This first recording for Justin Townes Earle is as 50's country as you can get.I was very impressed with the tempo of each song.I liked it as much as Teddy Thompson's country debut. Between the the two of them if they ever got together they could be the next Brooks and Dunn.