Eighteen: it’s supposed to be the age when we cross over into adulthood, but anyone who’s ever stumbled well into their twenties knows that, when it comes to growing up, there’s a much longer journey to follow than simply passing milestones. Maturing, changing, confronting your past – these are all ideas that Justin Townes Earle juggles with on the Mike Mogis-produced Kids in the Street, his forthcoming LP, and quite specifically on the track “15-25” premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country.
“I listened to a lot of ‘Nawlins music growing up, and Professor Longhair was very important to me,” says Earle of the classic Louisiana blues singer and his distinct piano boogie-woogie. “I wanted to kind of take that sound, and be very, very careful to represent that sound as best as I could, though I must do it with apologies to Professor Longhair. The content is pretty self-explanatory in the fact that it’s about the years between 15 and 25, and how life was kind of an endless string of disaster and reflecting on it now makes it a lot easier to see and document those times.”
Indeed, Earle confesses to many youthful transgressions alongside an infectious shimmy of piano and organ that’s the perfect breed of musical rose-colored glasses: getting high, getting locked up, crashing wherever he could and somehow making ends meet. “I know I’m probably lucky that I survived,” sings Earle, now celebrating his future instead of mourning his past.
Kids on the Street is due May 26th on New West.