Last month, Steve Earle released his take on “Harlem River Blues,” the first taste of J.T., his upcoming tribute album to his son Justin Townes Earle, who died in August. Now, he’s following it up with “Champagne Corolla,” the lead track to JTE’s penultimate album, 2017’s Kids in the Street, which was produced by Mike Mogis.
The loose, old-fashioned tribute to the Toyota sedan would’ve felt at home on several of Steve’s recent blues-leaning collections, like 2015’s Terraplane or 2017’s So You Wanna Be an Outlaw. Steve and his band offer a rollicking take here, with drums and upright bass propelling this “Corolla” forward.
J.T. will be released on January 4th — what would been Justin Townes Earle’s 39th birthday. “I made this record, like every other record I’ve ever made. . . for me,” Steve Earle said. “It was the only way I knew to say goodbye.” All proceeds of the album will be donated to a trust for Justin’s daughter, Etta St. James Earle.
Justin Townes Earle’s death was ruled an accidental overdose in a report released earlier this month by the Tennessee Department of Health. Earle’s family also announced the results of the singer’s autopsy report alongside a plea to help those struggling with addiction.