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Townes Van Zandt (1944 - 1997) was a Texas singer-songwriter-poet, whose music has touched a deep chord (pun intended) amongst many of us here at CBN. No, he's not related, except perhaps very distantly, to those other musical Van Zandt boys many of us also love. Townes was hailed, back in 1985 by none other than another gifted songwriter, Steve Earle, as "the greatest songwriter in the world, and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that!" Whether or not you agree with ol' Steve, there is a deep knowledge of the blues, heartache, pain and melancholy in Townes' songs. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, please visit his estate's website to get to know him better (all proceeds go to support his children and his second wife, Jeanene):
Several of us here at CBN (myself, Uncle John, Turtlehead, and maybe some others I haven't seen or heard - I know the owner of Diamondbackguitarshop and beStillroy are also huge fans) have done videos of us playing our versions of Townes' songs, many of which came out nearly 40 years ago. We realized that the CBG may be the perfect instrument on which to reinterpret and breathe new life into Townes' songs. In fact, we've been kicking the idea around in the Comment section of Uncle John's video rendition of "Flying Shoes" for the last coupla weeks (check it out), and came up with the idea for a tribute album, using only CBGs (I know, I know: Townes never played one, to my knowledge, and I and perhaps many others of you learned "Pancho and Lefty" on a 6-stringer, but still...).
So, if you're still with me, we're looking for MP3 submissions from those who play Townes' songs, wanna try 'em on CBG, may have never heard of him but like what they hear - any and all are welcome. His catalogue is pretty deep, so I'd like to lay claim to "If I Needed You" right here, right now! (hmmm. Jesus Jones...nah) ;-) We're also looking for someone willing to create some original cover art. The idea behind this is not to make money. We wouldn't want to charge for these songs or this album. We just wanna get 'em out to the larger CBN audience. As currently envisioned, it would be of a similar nature to the free download Robert Johnson tribute album, or the various CBN Christmas albums. It is not designed to detract from, or compete with, the Blues Album Dan Sleep is currently putting together for CBN, which many of us here are also contributing to. All we ask, like the judges on American Idol, is that you make your submitted TVZ song your own.
For those who are interested, you can add MP3 files using the Attach Files or Upload Files link at the bottom left to this Discussion. Record 'em however y'all feel comfortable: lo-fi, hi-fi, wi-fi, or in-fi, doesn't matter. You can PM me here at CBN for any offline technical or otherwise discussions. I will, eventually, get back to you.
I love the idea, Oily. I'm a huge Van Zandt fan, and I agree that the lo-fi nature of the CBG is a perfect way to interpret his songs. I've got a new 4 string CBG nearly finished, this'll be a great chance for me to put it through its paces.
Please count us in! We'd like to cover "Waitin' around to die."
Voodoo - It's y'alls as soon as you submit the MP3 file ;-) No pressure...Seriously, I dig what y'all do.
Vinyl- Awesome! Finish her up, pick a song or two.
I know that Uncle John and Turtlehead will contribute at least one each, so there's 5 we got already. Who else is in?
Oily, Thanks! I dig what you do as well.
Our band is finishing up 3 new cds, and our song for the CBG Blues album, so one more song should be no problem.
I can have it for you by the end of the month.
Ron, please put me down for Flying Shoes - size 10.
I hope you get good response - glad to hear Vinyl is in. I can maybe do another if you are short on songs. Thanks for doing this. You being a Texican and your background, you are a great one to head this up.
Have you ever heard Townes do blues classics?
I'm not quite familiar with much of Townes' music but I can remember the song "Nothin'" which I'd really love to cover. It's very mellow - the way I love music best.
So you can count me in.
I'm in. Can't decide on what I want to do at the moment. I've got the day off tomorrow and plan on spending most of it with a CBG in my hand so I'll know more then. Pancho and Lefty is tempting - but I've already done it here, so if anyone wants it....
Uncle John -He was a big Lightnin' Hopkins fan and he does a cover of Chauffer's Blues on the Live at the Old Quarter album. He also does Who Do You Love and Cocaine Blues on it.
Looks like we are filling up nicely - looking forward to it!
Call me crazy, but I'm going to give Mr Mudd and Mr Gold a shot.
Turtle, you are crazy. But pretty much so was Townes, Oily and me.