Justin Townes Earle - The Saint of Lost Causes

Posted on Jul 28, 2020 by Sam Stoffelen

Justin Townes Earle - The Saint of Lost Causes

If I can appeal to the Buddhist within all of you for one moment – I’m hear to awaken your thoughts on reincarnation. It’s a flimsy concept on the surface and one that needs little validation or proof to be believed, but I think I’ve found something to twist your arm on the subject.

‘Appalachian Nightmare’ is track number 9 on the album ‘The Saint of Lost Causes’ and it wholeheartedly and undisputedly belongs to it’s composer, Justin Townes Earle – but it so easily could have once sought refuge in the songbook of another great American singer; a man whose name Justin’s honours: Townes van Zandt. The song is harrowing and deeply personal and they are two fundamental traits of the great and bygone Townes. It bears the burden of addiction and wreaks of vulnerability and these too were saturated Townes-isms. In fact, the song itself sounds so much like ‘Waiting Around to Die' that I’m convinced the musical soul  of Townes van Zandt jumped out of the coffin and into the body of Justin!

Have I inspired your belief? No?… I didn’t think so… Regardless, I hope I’ve at least stirred your curiosity, because if I strip away all this hocus-pocus deliberating, what we are left with here is a hell of an album. An album that  begs you to question the fraudulence of others (‘Don’t Drink the Water') whilst acknowledging the honesty of yourself (‘Talking to Myself’). It’s an album that paints an unshakeable and wounded cynic  (‘The Saint of Lost Causes’) before shaking its strangely shakable hips (Flint City Shake). Justin bites from a few different apples on this album, but inevitably they all come from the same tree – one that’s been producing the goods for many years now and shows no sign of letting up.

You might not believe in reincarnation and you may hate apples.. but you will love this album.