Americana singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle, son of the notorious country rocker Steve Earle, passed away Thursday at his Nashville, Tennessee, home.
While no cause of death was mentioned, the 38-year-old’s death was confirmed by his record label and on his Facebook page Sunday.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” the post read.
“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.”
Listening to Nirvana and Dr. Dre certainly shaped Earle’s style, but it wasn’t until he discovered Woody Guthrie that he really realized his own unique take on music could be valuable.
“I realised there was a way to come from the place I came from,” he told The Scotsman in 2015. “I found an amount of comfort in it and I also found something I was good at that was legal.”
Rest of peace, Justin Townes Earle. Worked his 5 albums on Bloodshot Records and was so kind, so grateful of the good things music brought to him. Nothing’s gonna change the way I feel about you now. pic.twitter.com/op1q0sFnDY
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) August 24, 2020
Following in his father’s footsteps, the young man dealt with drug addiction from an early age — as early as 12 years old.
His website biography referred to him as being a “recently married, sober man” at the time of his 2014 album, “Single Mothers.”
Earle’s name was a nod to his godfather Townes Van Zandt, from whom he took more than a name.
“I took a lot from Townes — don’t explain too much or write your song like it’s a thesis, don’t give them all the information, leave some things out for interpretation,” he explained.
My friend, Justin Townes Earle, has passed away. Such a tremendous songwriter…he took me on 2 tours and always treated me so kindly….he understood struggle, he understood joy…I saw him at the peaks and valleys of both through the 13 years I knew him…we will miss you JT ❤ pic.twitter.com/rq74Qu3Hif
— Samantha Crain (@sjcrain) August 24, 2020
“I’ve never been a bashful person — obviously something I get from my father,” he said. “There’s nothing for people to figure out about me, no dirt for anybody to dig up about me somewhere in my past because I’ve already given it.”
The post from Sunday confirming Earle’s death concluded with lyrics from his song “Looking for a Place to Land”:
“I’ve crossed oceans / Fought freezing rain and blowing sand / I’ve crossed lines and roads and wondering rivers / Just looking for a place to land.”
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