Justin Townes Earle’s story has quintessential, feel-good moments. Country music courses through his DNA; his dad is outlaw'ish, outspoken country legend Steve Earle, and he was named after songwriter Townes Van Zandt. But Earle isn’t resting on the association of his names.

Watch his live performance from last night's 'Late Night With David Letterman' below, and check out the studio version of his twangy, hand clap-filled and choir-orchestrated 'Harlem River Blues,' which is the title track from his latest album, here.

Earle endured a brief, voluntary stint in rehab to deal with addiction issues this past fall, but he has bounced back, as his appearance on 'Letterman' astutely demonstrates. Earle is also armed with a killer album, which boasts a lived-in, Americana feel to which fans can instantly relate.

On 'Letterman,' the lanky Earle ebulliently performed 'Harlem River Blues,' clad in a tan suit and a classy little bow tie.

It’s easy to comprehend why audiences (as well as late night TV bookers) have embraced an artist like Earle; this Nashville native’s rugged brand of country doesn’t “feel” real; it is real. It comes across as though it was birthed on a bar floor. While he’s a New York City transplant, his roots remain firmly planted in American country.

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