Folk singer/songwriter Justin Towns Earle, son of country/folk singer/songwriter Steve Earle, has died, according to a Facebook post on Earle’s account. “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” the post reads. “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.”
Although no official cause of death has yet to be made public, Earle has battled addiction throughout his life. He was 38 years old at the time of his death. He released nine albums during his career beginning in 2007, and was honored twice at the Americana Music awards, including a nomination for his best-known song, “Harlem River Blues.”
Earle’s music is comforting, bright, and brings a refreshing warmth to any listener’s ears, especially during the dismal year that 2020 has been. His tenor tone of voice can be as smooth as velvet on one song, and raspy and twangy in the next, displaying a unique vocal versatility that few artists possess today. While musically his melodies are catchy and easily enjoyable, his lyrics are often profound and thought-provoking, and are infused with a great deal of emotion and passion. Earle may unfortunately be gone, but he has left us with a wide variety of songs that will make listeners laugh, cry and love stronger than before.
Various artists, music critics, writers and other fans of Earle took to Twitter to celebrate his life upon hearing the news of his death.
I have just completed my senior year at the University of Michigan majoring in international studies with an emphasis in political economics and development, with a minor in Chinese language and culture, and I have recently been accepted into the Berklee School of Music’s masters of music business program. Although economics, politics and history are all academic interests of mine, I consider music to be my true passion.
Music has always been my passion, and it is a driving force for the way I think, act, and conduct myself on a daily basis. I have been playing the clarinet and saxophone since the age of ten, and the ability to play music at a high level has allowed me to embrace music on a multitude of levels. I am both an avid player and listener of music, and I find myself constantly in search of new artists who bring something new and different to the art form, and writing about new music has become a new outlet for me to explore what is going on in the musical world.