LAST MINUTE REMINDER: Justin Townes Earle

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 10, 2011 8:40PM

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If the frigid temperatures have you bundling up and hibernating next to your furnace on these biter, arctic nights, it is really tough to find a viable reason to leave the comfort of your abode. Though the promise of spring is just around the corner we here at Chicagoist have even dusted off our old Jimmy Buffet records just to try and remember the sun-drenched days, sandy shores of Lake Michigan and of course, what life is like without four-layers to guard our ever-so-vulnerable pasty skin. One such artist that has kept the hope of spring alive and conjures memories of long days with a Corona in one hand and a Frisbee in the other is the music of Justin Townes Earle.

Earle, son of country music maverick Steve Earle and named for country and folk legend Townes Van Zandt, began playing blue-grass and country music in his teens with bands like The Distributors, The Swindlers and later was a roadie for his father's road band, The Dukes. Earle was known for two things on the Nashville scene: his intuitive and effortless songwriting and musicianship and his drug habit starting at the tender age of 12. After being kicked out of his most recent gig with The Dukes, Earle dedicated his life to being clean and sober and of course, writing more music. Developing his own writing and playing style, a hybrid mixing folk and blues with strong early country leanings, Earle self-released the six-song EP Yuma in 2007, which attracted the attention of Chicago's own Bloodshot Records. His latest effort released in 2010, Harlem River Blues, has become a mainstay on the Chicagoist turntable.

Tonight he takes the stage with Chicago's own troubadour Tom Schraeder and Kent, Ohio songstress Jessica Lea Mayfield. We this one is worth the trek in sub-zero temperatures to the Metro, if for no other reason, then to hear fantastic music that reminds us that the promise of warmer weather should not be forgotten.

Justin Townes Earle plays tonight, February 10, at the Metro, 3730 N Clark, 8 p.m., $15, 18+