Country act Steve Earle & The Dukes released a cover of a song written by Earle’s late son, Justin Townes Earle, “Champagne Corolla.” The cover will be featured on the group’s upcoming album, J.T., set to be released Jan. 4 via New West Records.
The upcoming album consists of covers of Townes Earle’s songs as a tribute to him. It will be released on what would have been his 39th birthday. “Champagne Corolla” is the second single released from the album, following “Harlem River Blue,” which was released last month.
“Champagne Corolla” is a tribute to the Toyota sedan, a classic country tune with strong blues influences that talks about a girl driving by in a champagne-colored Corolla. Steve Earle & The Dukes’ cover is a lively version, featuring drums and an upright bass. Townes Earle wrote the song for his 2017 album, Kids In The Street.
J.T. will contain 10 covers of Townes Earle’s songs and ends with the song “Last Words,” which Steve Earle wrote in memory of his late son, who died this August. It was revealed in early December that his cause of death was an accidental overdose of fentanyl-laced cocaine. His family started a GoFundMe in October to help with his medical bills. All of the artist advances and royalties from J.T. will be donated to a trust for Townes Earle’s three-year-old daughter, Etta St. James Earle. Steve Earle & The Dukes announced the album in September.
“The record is called J.T. because Justin was never called anything else until he was nearly grown. Well, when he was little, I called him Cowboy,” Steve Earle explained in a press release. “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.”
In June, Steve Earle released an acoustic version of the track “Times Like These,” and released his latest album Ghosts of West Virginia in May. His band is also set to perform at the 6th annual John Henry’s Friends Benefit Concert for Autism on Dec. 13.