Justin Townes Earle was always generous with his time. We kept asking him to come and play at the Paste Studio and he kept saying yes. It was the same with Daytrotter. Nine times he came to perform at one of our venues, and nine times he blew us away with his songwriting, guitar playing and personal charm.
The recollections of those who encountered the talented songwriter, whether other songwriters, journalists or fans, have that common refrain. He was always kind, always had a good story and left an impression. “He carried a unique light,” Over the Rhine’s Karin Berquist put it. And I can’t believe that light has gone out. At 38 years old, he was way too young.
Here’s a look at all the times he played for Paste & Daytrotter over an 11-year period.
He played six songs on that first visit, including “Hard Livin’.” A poster from his show at Huckleberry’s Pizza Parlor from around that time was one of the first Daytrotter-related posters produced.
Earle played four songs in one of the first Paste Studio sessions in our East College Station office, including “Mamas Eyes” and the heartbreaking Maybelle Carter cover “I’m Leaving You This Lonely.”
Earle surprised the crowd by performing at this Daytrotter Barnstormer event alongside Dawes, Jonny Corndog, These United States and another surprise headliner, The Walkman. The 15-song set included one of my personal favorites, “Harlem River Blues,” which he introduced as “a new one, folks.”
He returned for his second Daytrotter session in 2010, playing “They Killed John Henry.”
I interviewed him in 2011 at the Hangout Fest, and he played us the gloriously bluesy “I Been Burning Bad Gasoline.”
Earle played a five-song set for Paste’s cameras at the Newport Folk Festival, including “Memphis in the Rain.”
Earle’s third trip to Daytrotter in Davenport, Iowa, resulted in a split vinyl with Dawes, that’s available here.
A three-song set at the Paste Studio in Manhattan included “Champagne Corolla.”
He returned to our New York studio last year and shared another three incredible songs.
You can also play our Best of Justin Townes Earle playlist on YouTube. Our hearts go out to his family and friends and all of our fellow Justin Townes Earle fans.