by Dan Schram
On Monday night, Marianne Taylor—the local roots-music promoter who relocated from the Berkeley Cafe to the Southland Ballroom this summer—sat outside, holding the door open and welcoming each patron despite the cold December evening. Taylor has hosted Justin Townes Earle at three different venues during his career, including his first solo tour at the long-lost Hideaway BBQ. Even years after that first solo tour, Earle returned to the Triangle for another solo performance.
Fresh off an opening stint for John Prine in Greensboro and Charlotte, Earle and his heartfelt songs and wirey stage banter were welcome in Raleigh. In a rather upbeat mood, he discussed his current life hardships, including "business troubles" in which he needed to "chop some heads off" before he records his next album. Despite all of his described chaos, he always seems to tune it all out and deliver one moving song after another.
Below, catch a few clips from the performance, including an unreleased song written about Billie Holiday, "White Dress, White Shoes and White Gardenias."Mama's Eyes