Justin Townes Earle

In some respects, Justin Townes Earle seemed destined from birth to be a musician -- his father, Steve Earle, is one of America's most acclaimed singer/songwriters, and he was named in part for Townes Van Zandt, a close friend to Earle and an equally legendary tunesmith. But Justin also grew up learning the downside of the musician's life, and came up against some of the same demons that haunted his father. Born in 1982, Justin Townes Earle didn't see much of his dad through most of his childhood; after the release of his first album in 1986, Steve was often on the road, and a serious drug habit sidelined him through much of the early '90s. Despite it all, Justin developed an appetite for music, and in his teens began playing and singing with two different Nashville groups, a rock band called the Distributors and a bluegrass-influenced acoustic combo, the Swindlers.