Sometimes you just need some mournful lyrics and a steel guitar. And sometimes that’s all you need. Check out “White Gardenias”, a country ode to Lady Day, and Justin Townes Earle’s latest song.
Earle’s had his ups and downs. Born in country music capital Nashville, Tennessee, of singer Steve Earle, Justin Earle had about as good a pedigree as you could ask for. Even his middle name came courtesy of his godfather – Townes Van Zandt – one of the true legends of outlaw country music. Still, a solid start doesn’t always mean an easy life. Earle battled drug addiction, reportedly since he was 12 years old, and wound up in rehab after a 2010 fight with a nightclub owner.
But now? Sober, married, and paying tribute to a personal hero. “White Gardenias” is a meandering ballad addressed to Billie Holiday. The name and lyrics of the song reference the outfit worn by Lady Day at her famous 1956 performance at Carnegie Hall. It’s gentle, nostalgic country music; see what you think.