A native son of Nashville, folk singer/songwriter Justin Townes Earle recently moved to New York City. I wonder how the drastic change in venue will ultimately affect his music. People don’t move to NYC to be unaffected. He described his deliberate creative process in an interview with Paste, saying “I’m a very painfully slow songwriter, I can take up to six months to write a song, even a simple little song.”
And it sounds like the city’s starting to do it’s work on him. “I don’t sit down and write. I’m a cocktail-napkin writer,” he said, “but I find in New York there’s just too many experiences. Everywhere you go it’s like there’s something going on. You see something amazing every block.” It reminded me of David Cross’ old joke… In New York, you are constantly faced with this very urgent decision that you have to make, about every twenty minutes…you have to decide, immediately, you have to go “Ohmigod. Do I look at the most beautiful woman in the world or the craziest guy in the world?”
It’s true, and a real distraction. Luckily, it adds up to inspiration in the end. Hey, aside from a little talent, that’s all you need. Watch this song and interview IFC did with Earle, he’s got both.
Justin Townes Earle’s new album, Harlem River Blues, is due out in September on Bloodshot.