Song for JTE

by Les Thomas

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Les Thomas’s Song for JTE (Justin Townes Earle) is a heartfelt tribute to one of Americana’s finest songwriters, gone too soon. It speaks of the electrifying effect Justin and his songs had on audiences and listeners and extends a message of compassion and condolence to his nearest and dearest.

“As someone who’s been inspired and moved by Justin’s work over the last 12 years, I was devastated by his loss” says Les Thomas. “This song is my way of sharing and processing my feelings about it and perhaps it can help express what others feel too.”

With bespoke production by Luke Plumb and musicians including Jy-Perry Banks aka Steelin’ Hearts on pedal steel, Justin , Thomas has created the best possible tribute within his powers. Due for online release on Friday May 21, the song will be officially launched at the Brunswick Ballroom in Melbourne on Sunday, May 30 and all proceeds raised will be forwarded to JTE’s bereaved wife and daughter. It’s hoped that this song can testify to the powerful musical legacy Justin has left us with.


I can't say I know what you're feeling

I just don't want this news to be true

Your baby departed too early

And I'm sending my heart out to you

I remember the first time I saw him

The whole room was at his command

Held by the words he was singing

Moved by the strum of his hand

And no one alive could forget it

Nothing could be quite the same

Cos he laid out the stories inside him

As he took on the load of his name

It's too hard to say goodbye

This one really hurts

I hope that he knew that we loved him

But I know it's so hard to get through

Now it feels like a long fight is over

With his dearest all shrouded in blue

Now there's more questions than answers

There's no way to right all the wrongs

May his family all find love's protection

May his spirit survive in his songs

It's too hard to say goodbye
This one really hurts


released May 21, 2021
Written by Les Thomas
Produced, engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered by Luke Plumb

Vocals by Les Thomas
Backing vocals by Penny Larkins
Acoustic guitars by Les Thomas
Piano by David McNamara
Drums by Justin Olsson
Pedal steel guitar by Jy-Perry Banks


all rights reserved



Les Thomas Melbourne, Australia

Les Thomas is a Melbourne singer-songwriter and storyteller, known for his compelling lyrics, catchy melodies and engaging live performances.

“Les Thomas makes me want to be a better person . . . he’s a bloody good singer-songwriter.”
— Timber and Steel

"It's people like Les Thomas that keep the origins of folk forefathers alive and true." — Lauren Duiker, The Orange Press
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