Saturday, June 6, 2009

Steve Earle's new record "Townes"

On his new record Townes, Steve Earle pays tribute to his mentor Townes Van Zandt's legacy by covering 15 of his classic songs. Their relationship was a complicated and difficult one, as detailed in this interesting New York Times article here.

While some songs work much better than others, the album mantains a level of quality thoughout that does justice to all of these songs. Overall, what had to have seemed like a daunting task became quite an interesting and entertaining record in the end. Here are my two favorites that have really stood out on Townes.

He chose to give the song "White Freightliner Blues" a nice bluegrass feel, which worked out really well.

Steve Earle - White Freightliner Blues (from Townes)

Steve's gritty vocals really added something special to "Marie," one of Townes' most harrowing songs.

Steve Earle - Marie (from Townes)

Steve Earle has two other notable Townes Van Zandt covers that appeared previously on cd.

The first is a cover of "Two Girls" which appeared on the soon to be reissued compilation Poet: A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt.

Steve Earle - Two Girls

Also, a medley of a cover of "Rex's Blues" followed by "Fort Worth Blues" a song Steve Earle wrote shortly after learning of Townes' passing appeared on the soundtrack to the 2003 documentary Just An American Boy.

Steve Earle - Rex's Blues/Fort Worth Blues

I've always loved this video of Steve singing "Fort Worth Blues" on Austin City Limits during an in the round tribute to Townes Van Zandt.

If you'd like to read more about Townes, Steve Earle gave his thoughts on each of the songs he chose to record in this post on the blog An Aquarium Drunkard here.

Buy Townes by Steve Earle at

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