Amidst all the rum, sodomy, and lashing going on this week about the Pogues hitting House of Blues Thursday, it's easy to forget that they have a pretty stellar opener warming up the crowd. Hmm, kinda reminds us of another Irish band that brought a really kick-ass young band with them a few weeks back. Exceptt we don't think Glenn Beck quotes Justin Townes Earle lyrics on his radio show. Earle will open for the Pogues tomorrow night, despite being felled by a leg injury he suffered late last week. Earle's sporadic Twitter updates indicate that he is still planning on being at the Houston show, and a rep from his label Bloodshot Records confirmed he will be hobbling but nonetheless performing. We didn't hear any definitive answer as to how he got hurt. The roots and country-picking Steve Earle offspring and Townes Van Zandt namesake was just in Houston this past May with the Old Crow Medicine Show at Warehouse Live. Since debuting in 2008 with the Yuma EP, the younger Earle has been slowly winning over folks from his father's rabid fan base, while also pulling in a lot of kids weaned on indie bands like Deer Tick and Lucero. In his songs, alternately gruff and forlorn, one can hear influences as diverse and Charlie Poole and Randy Newman, along with doses of his own father's trademark snarl. He followed Yuma the same year with the full-length The Good Life, which featured the bittersweet title track and the dramatic Civil War narrative "Lone Pine Hill."
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This past spring came Earle's sophomore long-player, Midnight At The Movies, which fused family drama and the usual heartache in his songs with lush instrumentation and road-tested gutbucket country blues. That's fitting, since in concert Earle is known to cover the Lightnin' Hopkins' "Bad Gasoline," among other Hopkins tunes. Midnight is probably best known for the Earle family document "Mama's Eyes," along with a jaunty and ragged take on the Replacements' "Can't Hardly Wait." The 27-year old is ahead of schedule as far as Earle men go, as his father didn't release Guitar Town until he was a year past 30. With two full-lengths in the can already, and influences that he professes are as far-reaching as "Motorhead and Chet Baker," Rocks Off can't hardly wait himself to see what the younger Earle has in store for us for the next 70 years. With the Pogues, 8 p.m. Thursday, October 29, at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837 or www.hob.com/houston.