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Harlem River Blues

Harlem River Blues
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
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Release Date
September 1, 2010
Label
Bloodshot Records

Style: Country and Americana, compare to Old Crow Medicine Show, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt

Top Tracks: "Wanderin'," "Learning to Cry," "Rogers Park"

Justin Townes Earle deftly straddles eras and styles, and his third album shakes out the whole Americana spice cabinet. There's southern gospel ("Harlem River Blues"), blues ("Slippin' and Slidin'"), rockabilly ("Move Over Mama"), classic country and western ("Learning to Cry"), and traces of soul ("Christchurch Woman"). The collection revels in a throwback space of workingman's blues, broken tin-pan dreams, and restless wandering—splashed with lonesome pedal steel and bathed in Earle's dusky vocals as if in a Tennessee swimming hole. Spiritual hope never breaks free, but we are reminded that real freedom is never fully grasped on this earth. (Note: "Christchurch Woman" includes one profanity, and interior album art includes a photo of Earle's tattoo of a nude woman.)

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