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New Justin Townes Earle single reminds of an easier time

February 3, 2010

I’ve been an unabashed fan of Justin Townes Earle here on the blog. I gave his 2009 album Midnight at the Movies the number three spot in my year end list, a lot of respect for a country album.

His new single, a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” with Dawn Landes (Josh Ritter’s wife), is simply beautiful. The stripped down beauty of Parton’s country classic is as fun as can be, it’s a bit more bouncy and raw than any version done by Dolly herself.

From the very beginning of the song I was hooked, mostly by the charming harmony that came from the vocalization of Parton’s humming. As a child of the ’90s, the tune immediately evokes in my mind the theme song for the Nickelodeon cartoon Doug, a favorite from my formative years.

Hearing the song takes me back to Saturday mornings and Sugar Smacks cereal. There’s a lot of playfulness in the duet’s version of the song that wasn’t necessarily absent in Parton’s version, but perhaps more dormant.

Earle and Landes play off each other, either independently or in harmony. The end result is a particularly endearing two and a half minutes of classic country.

Luckily, you don’t just have to take me at my word, because the song is available for free download here.

Take a listen, see if your mind immediately recalls Patty Mayonnaise, Skeeter and Porkchop.

Justin Townes Earle & Dawn Landes – “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind”

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