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Guitarist ready for Nelsonville stage

May 13, 2011

Justin Townes Earle uses his tattoos to remember specific points of his life.

A bird in flight adorns the back of Justin Townes Earle’s left hand. On the other is a tattoo of two sledgehammers.

Both illustrations remind the Americana singer of lessons he learned.

When he was 16 years old, Earle attended a music festival with a friend who encouraged the young guitarist to step up on stage, an event that inspired the sledgehammers.

“Then when I got done, he got on the mic and told the crowd that I have a thumb like a sledgehammer — the way that I fingerpick,” Earle said. “So many years later, I got the sledgehammer (tattoo).”

This article originally ran in The Post on May 13, 2011. Click here to read the full story.

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