Justin Townes Earle – Kids In The Street (album review)

Published: May 22, 2017

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Photo Credit: Joshua Black Wilkens

Justin is an interesting guy to follow on social media. I’ve witnessed him fall off the wagon, bemoan the over-building in Nashville and celebrate the World Series title of his beloved Cubbies. Over the last year, it has been nice to hear him embracing married life, await the birth of his first child and make Kids In The Street.

Kids In The Street is his seventh album and first with new label, New West Records. It also happens to be the first time he’s recorded outside of Nashville with an outside producer, Mike Mogis. It also happens to be my favorite album by him since Midnight At The Movies.

“When I wrote songs in the past, I was looking in on what I was feeling, but this record’s more about looking outward on what’s happening, and writing about subjects like gentrification and inner city strife,” was the most interesting quote in the press release as the album is more observational in its scope.

The album opens with Champagne Corolla, a track celebrating the everyday cars that folks drive. Its buoyed by some tasty horns. He follows that track by taking a look at a time when life was simpler pre-gentrification on the title track. He also seems to dip into his wilder years for inspiration on Maybe A Moment, a track about talking a girl into a ride down to Memphis. And 15-25 is a New Orleans infused boogie that catalogues the list of transgressions of youth.

I’m loving this album more and more every day. When Justin is on top of his game, there are not many better out there. On Kids In The Street, he’s on top of his game.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

JTE is here

Indie / Progressive / Jazz
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