SXSW: Saturday Day


Today I decided to go against what I normal instincts and actually go the industry/member of the press route. Usually I prefer shows that are for the fans rather then industry folk, but I made an exception for Mr. Justin Townes Earle. He is nowhere close to being “new” on the music scene but he is finally get the recognition he deserves, winning this years American Music Awards New & Emerging Artist Award. He also has a new album out March 27 titled “Nothing Can Change The Way You Feel About Me Now”, which I was lucky enough to hear a couple new tracks from. This was one of the rare times that I’ve seen just Justin without a full band accompanying him, but it just made me appreciate him so much more.  Comparing him to the likes of Ryan Adams when he was in his classic country phase, Whiskeytownish, is an obvious connection, but this man is unique in his own deep dark right.  Hearing his new songs, I see how they fit right in to his song catalog without being stale. With each song, Justin gives more of his life story to his listeners, putting great emotion into lyrics and musical composition.  If this whole album is as well written as the few songs I heard today, I wouldn’t be surprised if more awards came his way in the near future.


My personal new band of the day was Plants and Animals. Seeing that they just released their third album makes me feel slightly behind the times. I would probably still classify these guys in the indie rock group, but with the strongest classic rock influence. Head turning guitar rifts with the occasional unexpected harmonizing vocals place these guys perfectly in my personal record collection, as well as many others I assume. The power behind the raw vocals mixed with epic guitar and drum layering and build up, show their obvious inspiration from the rock legends before them. I couldn’t have asked to start my day any better.