May 23, 2009

Justin Townes Earle/The Greencards

Justin Townes Earl sounds like a new breed of outlaw. The former drug addict son of a former drug addict (and one of the greatest living songwriters—nay, writers-alive) sings of addiction and family, skirt-chasin’ and heartbreaks, civil wars and trains in a voice soaked with wisdom well-past his 27 years. Coming off at times like a carnival barker from another era, and with a hunched stature and delivery, Mr. Earle can be downright scary. He holds the room hostage.

The Greencards are arriving back in Hell after winning a Grammy, touring the globe and releasing a new record, Fascination, produced by Jay Joyce on Sugar Hill. The British-Australian trio is showing more confidence, swagger and risk-taking than ever before, but with the same gorgeous harmonies and creative musicianship.

“The Greencards are a little island of Truth and Beauty in a sea of artifice and mediocrity. What a fine group and what a great collection of songs.”—Rosanne Cash