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Amy Winehouse death hits home for Justin Townes Earle

for Journal Register Newspapers

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When Justin Townes Earle last rolled through the metro area earlier this year, he was planning to move to London. Now, however, he still has a place in New York but is also back in Nashville — and happily so.

“Y’know, along came a girlie and ruins all my plans,” the 29-year-old son of fellow singer-songwriter Steve Earle says with a laugh. “I have to say that me going to England was just going to be another example of me running to another place, and I’m finally at a point in my life where I have somebody that I love and who loves me enough to kind of help me through what I face in life.”

Earle acknowledges that he’s gone into his new spate of domesticity “kind of kicking and ... screaming,” but he adds that after another stint in drug rehabilitation last year he’s making a concerted effort to maintain a healthy balance in his life.

“I found that we grow up or we die,” Earle explains. “I understand the pain that Amy Winehouse’s family is feeling right now. I don’t want to do that to my people.”

Earle, who’s taking suboxone to combat an opiate addiction, was in England when Winehouse died in July. His tour manager told him before a show in Newcastle, and the news hit home.

“I had met her a couple of times,” recalls Earle, who’s starting work on his fifth album during October in Asheville, N.C. “I know the look when I see it, and I saw it in her early on that this was probably not going to end pretty. And, unfortunately, it did turn out exactly like I thought it was going to.

“But it definitely got me thinking that I don’t want it to be me.”

Justin Townes Earle and Shovels & Rope perform Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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