When The Good Life came out I hardly paid it any mind. Months later when I finally got around to listening to it I wasn’t expecting much from it.

My what a difference an album makes.

Don’t let my tardiness on typing this article mislead you. I was in pursuit of Midnight At The Movies the minute I knew promo copies were available and it has been on heavy rotation ever since Bloodshot sent it to me. With The Good Life I was expecting to hear the son of a legend fumble through an album he only got to make because of his father’s name. On Midnight At The Movies I was just wondering if he could come close to the masterpiece that The Good Life was. Turns out that he may just have surpassed it (if that’s possible).

With Midnight At The Movies, Justin seems more settled in his resolve to forge his own path and more comfortable with his songwriting. On tracks like “Mama’s Eyes,” Justin shows no hesitation about exposing himself to the listener, warts and all. When you couple that the ragtime hop of the track “Walk Out,” you start to uncover the true strength of this album. It’s somber, introspective and tender at its core, while still managing to maintain a country swagger.

The variety of styles on the album really help to cover its greatest weakness, its length.  Clocking in at a mere 33 minutes, it seems like the album is over almost as soon as it starts, but as Bobby Womack once said, “Leave them wanting more and you know they’ll call you back.” Chalking in at 12 tracks of all killer, no filler, you’ll definitely find yourself calling Midnight At The Movies back quite a bit this year. I’ll probably be calling it up come year end “best of” list making time, and for the time being I’ll call it Essential Listening.

Justin Townes Earle – Mama’s Eyes
Justin Townes Earle – Walk Out
Justin Townes Earle – Midnight At The Movies

Justin Townes Earle on myspace, Buy Midnight At The Movies

Note from Autopsy: Unless Trevor decides to drop some more knowledge on y’all about the tech workings of ninebullets there will be no posts tomorrow. See y’all on Wed.


  1. Great timing for your post. Justin is playing with Jason Isbell tonight in Lincoln and I’m getting primed for the show.

  2. The new album is great, no doubt about it (but honestly, I could’ve done without the Replacements cover), but I still prefer The Good Life – though none of them beat the YUMA EP.
    I always liked JTE’s music, but the live stuff that’s floating around and the radio sessions really made me love this dude (and Cory Younts!). I’m sure he’s going to be a big one, maybe not sales-wise, but artistically – he’s done everything damn right so far.

  3. I saw him in concert last Saturday night, what a show he puts on. He is going to go places, for sure.

  4. Agree with what Liz said. Saw him last night – it was a duo with Justin and the incredibly talented Cory Younts. They were WAY better than I expected! So good, and so much fun! Justin is quite the showman.

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