If there is anyone that can speak to fuck ups, regret and redemption, it should be Justin Townes Earle. JTE’s notorious struggle with the demons of addiction came to a boiling point during a show in Indianapolis at Radio Radio in September of 2010. That night, Earle was arrested after a drunken dispute with the audience and the venue’s management. Check out My Old Kentucky Blog’s account of the events for further details.
This year, Earle has resurfaced toting a track that deals directly with the tribulations the singer has likely been wrestling with since his public break down. On “Look The Other Way” JTE plays the role of repentant lover, vowing to abandon his lecherous behavior once and for all. Here, he’s begging not simply for forgiveness, but to be held accountable.
I’m lookin’ for the means to pay
for all the wrongs that I’ve done
For the nights I left you alone, in wait
But I’m always gonna owe ya
If you always look the other way
Only time will tell whether Earle’s new song is a genuine commitment to right his wayward ship, or another empty promise before the eventual misstep. When your father is Steve Earle and you are named after Townes Van Zandt, it would seem as if the odds are stacked against you. Regardless of the outcome, it proves fascinating to watch an artist come to grips with what must have been a life low. Watch a clip from JTE’s recent performance at New York’s WFUV studios, below. “Look The Other Way” will be on Earle’s new record Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, due out next week.
Written by Rob Peoni