Steve Earle shares first track from Justin Townes Earle cover LP

‘JT’ pays tribute to Earle’s late son, who passed away in August.

Country singer Steve Earle has shared the first preview of JT, his upcoming cover album comprising songs written by his son and fellow musician, the late Justin Townes Earle.

On Wednesday, Earle shared the album’s first song: a rendition of “Harlem River Blues” which appeared on his son’s 2010 studio album of the same name. The senior Earle lends his earthy vocals to the upbeat track, blending his own established sound with his son’s original recording.

JT will contain ten tracks originally penned by Justin, alongside a personal closing note from his father. Each song was carefully selected from the late musician’s extensive discography. All proceeds raised from the sale of JT will be locked into a trust fund for Justin’s daughter Etta St James Earle.


“The record is called JT because Justin was never called anything else until he was nearly grown,” Steve Earle recalled in a statement. “For better or worse, right or wrong, I loved Justin Townes Earle more than anything else on this earth. That being said, I made this record, like every other record I’ve ever made… for me. It was the only way I knew to say goodbye.”

JT will arrive on January 4—what would have been Justin Townes Earle’s 39th birthday. Listen to Steve Earle’s cover “Harlem River Blues” here:

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