Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle performs on day 2 of the Gentlemen of the Road stop at Francis Field on Saturday September 14, 2013 in St. Augustine FL.(Photo by John Davisson/Invision/AP)

Steve Earle Announces Tribute Album to His Late Son, Justin Townes Earle

Steve Earle announced on Sept. 16 that his band The Dukes would record an album of songs written by Justin Townes Earle, Steve's son and the namesake of legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

Per a statement from New West Records, "100 percent of artist advances and royalties will go to a trust for Justin's daughter, Etta St. James Earle. It is expected that the album will be recorded in October and released in January, 2021, around the time of what would have been Justin's 39th birthday. More details to be announced shortly."

Things must be on schedule, with Steve Earle announcing Justin's birthday, Jan. 4, as the release date of a project simply titled J.T.

"The record is called J.T. because Justin was never called anything else until he was nearly grown," Steve Earle said in a statement. "Well, when he was little, I called him Cowboy. 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."

The elder Earle's cover of his son's "Harlem River Blues" accompanied the album title and release date announcement.

Justin Townes Earle passed away on Aug. 20. He was 38 years old.

"It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin," read a statement on Justin's Facebook page. "So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys."

Justin was born in Nashville on January 4, 1982. He followed in his father's singer-songwriter footsteps, first as a guitarist and keyboardist in the elder Earle's backing band The Dukes and later as a member of two Nashville acts: rock band The Distributors and bluegrass combo The Swindlers.

Justin first performed live with his famous dad at age 17.

"Me and my dad played a few Doc Watson songs," he told Rolling Stone. "We're Earles, we're arrogant, and we always feel good about what we do, but it was intimidating. I'll tell you, the second time we played together, I had to play with him and Guy Clark at MerleFest, in front of Doc Watson. It scared the shit out of me."

A solo career followed, beginning with the 2007 EP Yuma (Bloodshot Records) and including such critically acclaimed albums The Good Life (2008), Midnight at the Movies (2009), Harlem River Blues (2010), Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (2012), Single Mothers (2014), Absent Fathers (2015), Kids in the Street (2017) and last year's The Saint of Lost Causes (New West Records).

Read More: Hear Aubrie Sellers Team Up With Steve Earle for 'My Love Will Not Change'

As a touring act, Justin shared stages with the Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch and other Americana and roots music stars.

Justin is survived by his wife since 2013, Jenn Marie Earle, and their daughter, Etta St. James Earle.

J.T. Track Listing

"I Don't Care"
"Ain't Glad I'm Leaving"
"Far Away In Another Town"
"They Killed John Henry"
"Turn Out My Lights"
"Lone Pine Hill"
"Champagne Corolla"
"The Saint of Lost Causes"
"Harlem River Blues"
"Last Words"

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