“When you get out there, there’s going to be this built-in audience of people that are curious to see what Steve Earle’s son is like, or what Waylon Jennings’s son is like,” Jennings stated. “So there’s this bit of distrust with the audience from the very beginning. Are they here because they like my music, or are they here because they like my dad’s music?”
TO RECORD “J.T.,” Earle, with the assistance of his son Ian, 33, winnowed Justin’s work to an inventory of 10 songs — two of them, “Turn Out My Lights” and “Far Away in Another Town,” Justin wrote with Scotty Melton — and booked per week at Electric Lady Studios in New York.
He labored quick, sending his band preparatory notes by textual content message. By the time they started recording, Justin had been lifeless for lower than two months. (They started classes earlier than Oct. 20.) Earle, who had largely averted talking publicly about Justin’s dying, wished the album to be his assertion.
He was additionally cautious of being roped into anybody else’s memorial.
“I did not want to be asked to be on a tribute record with several people that I thought absolutely were enablers and helped kill him,” Earle stated, his phrases flecked with expletives. “So I thought the way to nip that in the bud was to make a record of my own.”
At this level in his profession, Earle — bespectacled, with an extended salt-and-pepper beard — is a Renaissance man for whom mortality and dependancy have been perennial subject material. In addition to his many albums, Earle has written a play about a woman on death row and a novel in regards to the specter of Hank Williams, and contributed music to a recent play a couple of mining catastrophe in West Virginia. Lately he has been writing a science-fiction story supposed for tv.
The night time earlier than the primary session for “J.T.,” Earle gathered the band at his house for a sushi meal. Ray Kennedy, Earle’s longtime engineer, remembers the time in Electric Lady as being celebratory however centered. They started every day at 10 a.m. and completed by four p.m., in order that Earle may handle his youngest son, John Henry, 10, who has autism.