Justin Townes Earle Dead At 38
Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle has died. A post on his official Instagram page reads, “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin. So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys. You will be missed dearly Justin.” No cause of death has been revealed.
Earle was the son of Americana legend Steve Earle, who gave him his middle name in honor of Townes Van Zandt. Although Steve wasn’t around much early in Justin’s life, the son followed in his father’s footsteps, first joining bands such as the bluegrass group Swindlers and the more rock-oriented Distributors. He also spent some time playing in the elder Earle’s band, the Dukes. Earle inherited not only his father’s musical talents but also his battle with drug addiction, a lifelong struggle that began in his early teens. He was in and out of rehab many times throughout his life.
Earle launched a solo career in 2007, signing to Bloodshoot Records for a series of records that blended blues, folk, and country, often to compelling effect. Earle won an Americana Music Award for the title track from his 2010 album Harlem River Blues and blew this writer away with 2012’s Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now. He later switched over to Vagrant Records. His most recent release was 2019’s The Saint Of Lost Causes.
He leaves behind a wife and a three-year-old daughter.