Justin Townes Earle at Fitzgerald's, 5/15/14
You never know what you're going to get when you walk into a Justin Townes Earle show. It could be a rowdy get-together or a laid back evening of sleepy numbers. No matter what, though, it's always good.
Photos by Jim Bricker
Fitzgerald's, which has been Earle's stomping grounds his last few trips to Houston, paid host to the show. Pulling a decent crowd for a Thursday night, albeit not near a sell-out, Earle had no problem keeping the crowd entertained throughout the night.
Earle has a history with Houston, as it's where his dad (Steve) got his feet wet in the industry playing along the side the likes of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt (notice Justin's middle name). While the younger Earle doesn't have nearly the amount of ties to the city as his father does, it still serves as a special place for him to play. This was quite apparent last night with his hour-and-a-half performance for the best and most attentive crowd of the year.
The night started with a solo set from Houston's own Adam Bricks. I've always thought that it wouldn't be long before Bricks found the right crowd, and with people at full attention shouting out requests and whistling and catcalling after every song, I think he just might've found it.
Bricks' set, which featured just him and a guitar, was a good one from the get-go. He has a knack for performing and the songs to boot. His Springsteen-meets-Dylan sound had people eating from his hands by the end of it, gaining a wealth of new fans in the process. The only thing he was missing from the set was a merch table where he would've assuredly walked out of Fitz with a few bucks in his wallet.
By the time Earle hit the stage, close to 10:30, the crowd was ready and warmed up. You could tell people wanted to get rowdy, but that never happened. Earle came out somewhat lackadaisical, but never lacking his crack wit he's become famous for. His banter was nearly as entertaining as his songs, which might've been what was keeping everyone closed tightly to the stage.
Review continues on the next page.