Carlene Carter and Justin Townes Earle have a bit in common. Both have fathers who, aside from being country music legends, overcame serious drug habits and both have battled their own drug addictions. Both also have fine new records out.
Imagine you’re the son of Steve Earle and you’re named after Townes Van Zandt. No pressure there… Justin’s debut, The Good Life, is straightforward, subdued country with a shuffley swing feel that’s perfect for recovering on a Saturday morning but his sweet voice sounds more like the dulcet tones of George Jones then his father.
Stronger, the first record in over twelve years from this country rock survivor sounds more mainstream than Earle’s record, thanks in large part to the production by ex-Doobie Brother John McFee. But that doesn’t keep this from being a welcome comeback. Carlene’s in fine, soulful voice and the lyrics (all self penned), full of redemption and hard fought victory, are some of her best and most personal work.
That last track features some sweet autoharp that would make her mother June proud. Buy Stronger from Yep Roc records.