Today would have been Justin Townes Earle‘s 39th birthday and to mark the no-doubt bittersweet occasion, his father Steve Earle has shared the tribute album J.T.

The album consists of 10 covers of JTE songs, as well as “Last Words”, a song the elder Earle wrote as an elegy to his son, who tragically died last summer of an accidental drug overdose.

Earle said of the album:

“This record is called J.T. because he was never called anything else until he was nearly grown. 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.

See you when I get there, Cowboy,


You can purchase CD and vinyl editions of J.T. on March 19th and all proceeds from the album will go to a trust set up for Justin and Jenn Earle’s three-year-old daughter, Etta St. James Earle.

Stream J.T. below…

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Mel is the WFPK mid-day host.