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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.
It would be cool, but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that this time. But one day I'm going to try it.
Cheers guys, I'm just glad I managed to produce something. I reckon I might be on a roll. I might try to tackle something a little more upbeat.
Oily - Thank you so much for your glowing endorsement. I should also thank you for the push your suggestion for a Townes CBG tribute album gave me to record something for the first time in years.
I've loved the submissions so far, I can't wait to here the next one.
WOW Vinyl. Nailed it is right. Very, very, very nice! You sing it so well.
I'm impressed with everything I've heard so far. Everyone has put their heart into it and it shows. This has been a blast so far and I can't wait to hear it all put together.
Cheers Mr Turtle, you're too kind.
I've jumped the gun and added all the submissions so far to an itunes playlist, which is on heavy rotation.
This is a naked recording, no i didn't play it naked i just went with no prosessors
or affects. Wish i could have done more but neck and back issues said "no".
It's a one take recording with just one over dub for the intro, not sure about the intro.
Hope you like it if not let me know this is the first recording I have made in about two years.
Love me some Townes Songs!
Very nice picking and sadness in your voice. You don't need any effects here, I think.
I'd like to build a short scale but i don't know if it would work well for slide!
I'm not quite sure. I don't have this CBG anymore but I think it was 56 cm. Most guitars I made are somewhere between 55 and 58 cm. I don't have a special plan or model to follow when i start building an instrument, so every CBG is very individual. The shorter, the easier to play on your lap, I'd say. I usually use Martin acoustic strings (if there's a piezo pickup). If you make a slide guitar with magnetic pickup, better use heavy gauge electric guitar strings. The higher tension works better with slides and sounds better. so, all in all, the shorter the neck, the heavier the strings.
Lovely! Very nice playing, I like the intro. Agree with Thorsten, no need for effects. This is wonderfully stark, the melancholy comes through in your voice, and this is an effort that fits in perfectly with everything else I've heard so far. Well Done!
You remind me of something, though, which was also done for the Blues compilation: would y'all mind providing for each submitted track details of the guitar you used, the tuning you were in, and any recording notes (mics, effects (or not), etc.)? This is extremely useful for anyone else who hears your work and wants to copy or learn from it (including me! Damn, y'all are talented!).
Sure Oily. I recorded Rake on Presonus Studio one with my RTZ6A this is a 6 string acoustic
Cohiba box guitar in standard tuning. I use no prosessors or effects . Mic's were a Rode NT1A for vocal and a Shure SM81 on the guitar. I expected we would hear a lot of slide, distortion and reverb so i wanted to go the other way and do a clean song. I watch some of the vids of Townes playing Rake and had thoughts of playing it finger style but ended up flat picking it like he did.
Thank you for your kind comments all the songs sound great!