Justin Townes Earle - “Harlem River Blues”
The first track off of his upcoming third release Harlem River Blues, this song finds Justin Townes Earle investigating the sound of the deep South, complete with a full-on gospel choir. Though the rest of the record covers more country and folk territory, this song sticks to the gospel blues, reimagining the Depression-era feeling that something better lies on the other side of death. Earle continues to carve out his own niche of music, further separating himself from his two namesakes, combining old time music with folk, Hank Williams-style country, and even a touch of Springsteen on the closer, “Rogers Park”.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - “Nothin’”
This song, from the heralded Raising Sand record, has more than one Texas connection. Produced by Fort Worth native T-Bone Burnett, it is also a cover of a song by Townes Van Zandt, with the wonderful blend of Krauss and Plant’s vocals. Burnett’s searing guitar turns this into a song that carries the weight of Van Zandt’s original, with an entirely new sonic palette.
Hayes Carll - “I Don’t Want To Grow Up”
Hayes Carll is quickly becoming a Texan treasure. Originally from the Houston area, he moved to Crystal Beach, near Galveston and played haunts like the Old Quarter, the same places that his heroes Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt played. On this track from his latest Trouble In Mind, he takes on another hero, covering Tom Waits, but with a sound that is distinctly his own.