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Justin Townes

J.R.

Steve Earle.

Primer-adelanto-del-homenaje-de-Steve-Earle-a-su-hijo-Justin-en-J.T.

Justin Townes Earle murió el 20 de agosto de 2020. Tenía 38 años, ocho discos en los que sonaba rock, blues y country, y una hija, Etta, que ha cumplido tres años. El abuelo de Etta, Steve Earle, rinde homenaje a su hijo grabando un álbum con algunas de las mejores canciones que escribió: “Harlem River Blues”, “Far Away In Another Town”, “Champagne Corolla”… A los diez temas de Justin Townes, el gran Steve añade una canción propia escrita durante el duelo. El resultado es emocionante, por supuesto, pero también intenso, apasionado, sincero y hasta luminoso. El disco que el cantautor de Virginia hubiese querido no tener que grabar nunca. Todo el beneficio obtenidos por la venta del disco servirán para asegurar el futuro de Etta.

Escribe Steve Earle:

“Justin Townes Earle left this world a little over a mile from where he came in, having seen more of it than most folks in his thirty-eight years before his all too short arc brought him right back to where he started from; Nashville, Tennessee. 

The evening Justin was born, in what was then called Baptist Hospital, his mother, Carol, exhausted after 36 hours in labor fell immediately into a deep sleep and I was left staring into the eyes of my first-born son. After a while, a kindly nurse asked if I would like to carry him to the nursery myself. I don’t know how I ever negotiated the walk down the hall without tripping over my own two feet. I couldn’t take my eyes off him and he looked right back at me, hardly blinking, as if to say, “I know you.” After a bit of a gentle tug-of-war at the nursery door I reluctantly relinquished custody to the nurse. 

My arms had never felt so empty.

Suddenly it occurred to me that I hadn’t spoken to any of my family back in Texas since I’d phoned early the day before to let them know that Carol was in labor and we were headed for the hospital.

I beelined for the payphones in the waiting room and was relieved to find a quarter in my pocket (not a given at that point in my career). I dropped it in the slot and dialed my parents’ number in Houston. My Dad answered and immediately upon hearing his voice, I burst into tears and apologized for every shitty thing I’d ever said or done to him, which was a litany. 

Carol and I split up when Justin was 3 and he shuttled between our households, sometimes voluntarily sometimes not, until he left home. That event occurred pretty organically when he accompanied me on a teaching sabbatical to the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. 

Justin was playing by that time, having gone from post-mortem Nirvana fan to acoustic blues practitioner by way of Kurt Cobain’s WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT. He’d only been interested in electric guitar until seeing Cobain hunched over the big Martin acoustic on MTV Unplugged so I pointed him towards the original recorded version in my record collection. Leadbelly was next to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Lightnin’ next to Mance Lipscomb and next thing I knew he was playing stuff I’d been trying to sort out for years. The original idea of Justin going to Chicago (besides just keeping an eye on him) was that he would take a few classes at the Old Town School, but within a few weeks he was TEACHING fingerstyle guitar. By the time I completed my eight-week course and returned home Justin had turned 18 and elected to remain behind.

He was back in Nashville six months later and, musically, things began to develop rapidly. A jug band, a rock band, a short stint as a Duke, but, lo and behold he’d begun to come up with songs of his own and they were really fucking good. He would release 8 full length albums and an EP over 13 years during which our paths crossed infrequently, usually on the road. Ironically, we both sat out the last summer of his life in Tennessee, grounded by pandemic, unable to escape to the only place either one of us ever felt at home.

The Highway. 

We spoke often those last few months, saw each other a handful of times and I talked to him the night he died. I am grateful for that.

This record is called J.T. because he was never called anything else until he was nearly grown. 

Well, when he was little, I called him Cowboy. 

For better or worse, right or wrong, I loved Justin Townes Earle more than anything else on this earth. That being said, I made this record, like every other record I’ve ever made… for me. It was the only way I knew to say goodbye.

See you when I get there, Cowboy,

Dad”.

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ha nacido una estrella

A la chita callando, de manera discreta pero incansable, Veo 7, la televisión de El Mundo, se está consolidando en el panorama audiovisual español. Con el cadáver de Melchor Miralles todavía caliente Pedro J. Ramírez,  gurú del periodismo e  historiador de reconocimiento internacional, ha cogido las riendas del invento y, ni corto ni perezoso, se ha estrenado como presentador: es el anfitrión del programa “La vuelta en Orbyt”, un nuevo giro de tuerca al tantas veces fracasado “La vuelta al mundo”. “Sin tapujos. Sin intermediarios. Como debe ser”, advierten en el periódico de la misma empresa. Excitante ¿verdad? Pues espere, espere, porque Pedro J sólo es el mascarón de proa de un buque repleto de grandes de la comunicación. Al frente del espacio estrella de la programación nocturna de Veo 7 estará, los lunes, Sáenz de Buruaga. Los martes, Luis Herrero. Los miércoles Fermín Bocos. Los jueves, como ya hemos visto, Pedro J. Y los viernes, Carlos Cuesta. ¿Quién da más?

La flor y nata del periodismo independiente, de la opinión ecuánime, de la pluralidad y, por qué no decirlo, del feeling audiovisual. Sólo se echa en falta a un Jiménez Losantos que, con su templada presencia, pondría la guinda a una plantilla galáctica, de ensueño. ¿Quién dijo que no se hacía buena televisión en España? Ahí tienen las noches de Veo 7. ¿Quién pensó que la TDT no aportaría nada nuevo al panorama audiovisual? Ahí tienen a Pedro J, a Buruaga y a Luis Herrero.

“El mundo en 2 minutos”, videoblog con el que  Pedro J desgrana la actualidad en la red, se le ha quedado pequeño, qué duda cabe. El director de El Mundo necesita mucho más que 120 rácanos segundos para exponer sus pensamientos y reflexiones. Recuerden que no se trata de un simple periodista, sino de toda una eminencia: recibió hace sólo unas semanas el doctorado Honoris Causa por la prestigiosa Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola de Perú. “Por una vida dedicada al periodismo, a la verdad, a la regeneración democrática y a la lucha por la libertad”, dijo sin inmutarse Edward Roekaert, rector del centro.

Ha nacido una estrella audiovisual. Es un honor para todos los televidentes españoles, acostumbrados a la telebasura, poder sintonizar las noches de Veo 7.

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Un motivo para NO ver la televisión

Justin Townes Earle
Cd: Harlem River Blues.

El hijo del grandísimo Steve Earle lanza su cuarto  CD (el primero fue un EP titulado “Yuma”), un trabajo sencillo y directo con el que recupera el pulso del enorme “The Good Life” (2008). Buenas canciones, instrumentaciones cuidadas, una producción adecuada… No se puede pedir más. Tarde o temprano Justin Townes Earle nos dejará una obra maestra…