#11 Justin Townes Earle and the Sadies, The Tuning Fork

12 October 2017


Heading into tonight's gig, I had expectations raised just a tad by my friend Robin who had been to the same show on the previous night. "It was the best small-venue show of the year...  Never smiled so much on an evening this year. Pure joy." 

Problem was, between Justin Townes Earle and the Sadies, I couldn't name a single song they performed. So I thought, yeah well, should be good at any rate. 

Sweet Jesus. What a night. 

I still can't name a song - no wait, Harlem River Blues, last song of the night. Courtesy of Simon, who knew a few at least. 

But crikey, I'd go back to see both in a heartbeat. 

The Sadies opened, and they belted out a series of alt-country numbers with a driving rhythm that made me think they were the love children of Hank Marvin and the Undertones. Or not. But fiendishly, obsessively, unnervingly good.


Then they returned as the backing band for Justin Townes Earle. As he said, "you could go all round the world looking for a backing band and you wouldn't find these guys, and I tell ya, I ain't done shit."  

JTE had a more laid back, country and blues feel, both heartfelt and hilarious. But borne of seeing and knowing the scars, real and hidden, that people carry in their lives." Don't ask an addict what's wrong with you, ask why are you hurting?"

Never had a better night of music I'd never heard. Bliss.