CD Review for 04/21/09 – Justin Townes Earle, Keep Your Soul-Doug Sahm Tribute

Compact Capsules by Dan Ferguson

Justin Townes Earle
Midnight at the Movies
Bloodshot Records BS-160

On his stellar 2008 debut The Good Life, the territory covered by Justin Townes Earle ran old-fashioned country shuffles to swing to folk. With Midnight at the Movies, Earle pushes the envelope a bit further broadening his Americana music palate to include country blues and acoustic pop at the same demonstrating a sophisticated eye for subject matter. A monster talent on the live side, from performance to songwriting to his vocal work, this latest presents an artist beyond his years who wears both the Earle surname and the Townes second given name extremely well. Visit

Various Artists
Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm
Vanguard Records

Forgive me if I boast, but few, if any, artists, could cross pollinate genres as effectively as Doug Sahm. The Sir Douglas Quintet was as much Merseybeat as wild psycho border blasters as 3rd Coast soul tunes. In other words, the music was as stylistically whacked as the genius that drove it. It has been a decade since Sahm’s passing and hell yeah it’s about time a tribute recording, titled Keep Your Soul, is on the shelves. Contributors including Little Willie G., Los Lobos, Dave Alvin, The Gourds, and Alejandro Escovedo do the canon of Sahm right embodying all the soul of the original article.

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)