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Justin Townes Earle On World Cafe

With his acoustic-pop sensibilities and mix of rock, bluegrass, and folk influences, Justin Townes Earle has earned the respect of critics and musicians all over — an accomplishment all the more greater considering what he's been through to gain respect.

The son of iconic songwriter Steve Earle, he spent a good portion of his adolescence touring with his father's band as a guitarist and occasional keyboardist. After being forced out of the group due to a self-destructing drug habit, he cleaned up and began to seriously approach his own style of music.

"I used to write a lot, a whole lot, and half those songs I don't even remember," Earle recalls. "Now, I sit there and I write it and I finish it and I keep it."

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