Good Enough For Hillbilly Music
Cold, Blustery and in the middle of the December is good enough for hillbilly music. At least, according to Justin Townes Earle, it is. Underneath the grand architecture of the 150+ year old First Unitarian Church gathered folk aficionados to take in Townes Earle’s troubador-esque country folk music and musings.
First arriving at the Unitarian Church, you are led down a slippery metal staircase into a hallway that could of been used as a meeting place for Fight Club. This venue has that private feeling to it, like the show is only for a select few who were lucky enough to be invited.
Inside the crowds scatter the linoleum floored, low, drop-ceilinged, wood paneled, multi-purpose room, which probably acts as a Sunday school for youngsters on Sundays. Fresh from the cold, with craft brews (from a local shop) in hand the crowd settled in for the main attraction.
Flanked by an upright bass, a fiddle, sporting a suit and tie Townes Earle jumped right into his dramatic and catchy country folk tunes with the title track off his latest, “Harlem River Blues.”
Listening to Townes Earle, you would think he just rolled into town on a boxcar with a guitar slung over his shoulder. A modern day troubadour in his own right — often compared to Woody Guthrie and Mr. Dylan — Townes Earle plays the tunes, talks the talk and dresses the part an Americana folk artist living in a modern world. A self-proclaimed hillbilly living in Manhattan, Earle often spoke of fried chicken, women, facebook and hipsters during his set. Certainly, topics a modern day troubadour would be sure to touch on.
Townes Earle did not just stand on stage and play music, he drew the crowd in. Interacting between each song, sometimes sentimental, sometimes hilarious and other times just downright hillbilly-ish, Just Townes Earle seemed at home on stage sharing his music with the crowd as if we were sitting around his porch on a warm Tennessee night.