Justin Townes Earle: Today at Vinyl Fever

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Justin Townes Earle, son of hardcore troubadour Steve Earle, recently released his debut EP Yuma, a collection of stark, folk songs, many of which recall the work of his daddy's mentor, Townes Van Zandt, with hints of Bruce Springsteen circa Nebraska.

Justin performs 5:30 p.m. today at Vinyl Fever in South Tampa. He then has an 8 p.m. show at Skipper's Smokehouse.

Incidentally, I met Justin one night about six years ago in the backstage parking lot of Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Steve Earle had just finished delivering a loud, raucous, opening set for Mary Chapin Carpenter, which sent a good chunk of the crowd heading for the lobby to issue a complaint.

I stood outside Steve's tour bus, trying to score an interview with him for the USF Oracle. The alt-country hero wouldn't come out. But Justin greeted me, saying how I should interview him (I didn't), and that he would have a CD out soon and that it would be great.

And then Justin's girlfriend offered me $100 for the pair of naturally faded blue jeans I was wearing. I considered it. The jeans were from the Gap and had cost me no more than half that.

"I would," I told her. "But I ain't walking past security in my boxer shorts."

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