With Steve Earle as his father and Townes Van Zandt as his namesake, singer/songwriter Justin Townes Earle was destined for music.
Earle grew up in south Nashville, where he played in various bands that helped him develop his eventual singer/songwriter sound mixing folk, country, roots, and blues.
He released the EP Yuma in 2007, signed with Bloodshot Records and released his debut album, The Good Life, in 2008. That same year, he debuted at the Grand Ole Opry. In 2009, Earle received the Americana Music Award for Emerging New Artist.
Earle released an additional seven albums in ten years: Midnight at the Movies (2009), Harlem River Blues (2010), Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (2012), Single Mothers (2014), Absent Fathers (2015), Kids in the Street (2017), and The Saint of Lost Causes (2019).
But Earle had struggled with substance abuse from a young age, and often sang about addiction in his music. In 2020, he died of an accidental overdose.
His father released the tribute album J.T. in 2021.
Neither man ever tried to hide the complexities and difficulties in their relationship, yet there are certainly moments when their stars and paths aligned.