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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.
Hell yes. This is what I want to sound like! Very mysterious and "tribal" sounding almost. Great job Ben. This just keeps getting better and better.
Turtlehead, thank you so much for the kind words. I couldn't have asked for a nicer compliment!
Guys, I just listened to 2 of the recent contributions. Ben did a great job on $ Bill. I am glad that song is included. RTZ blew me away with Still Looking For You. Gorgeous.
As good as the blues download is - and me loving blues..... This is going to be even better. Thanks to all and go easy on Ron (Oily) - give him support if you can. He is one of the busiest guys around and I would guess that this is time consuming for him even though it is a labor of love.
Thanks for listening John! Your constantly uplifting and selfless attitude is much appreciated around here.
Hey Ben, your dollar bill version is fantastic, I love that violin fiddling around the main melody and the archaic rhythm. Like in Townes' early recordings there is also this north European folk feel in your music.
Good deal, Ron. And I agree on the enthusiasm and commitment to the project. I just know you are busy and this will be labor for you.
It seems to me Producing CBN Record is not as time consuming as being a family man. Tip of the
cowboy hat to you sir. I don't know how these thing go together but i'm learning and if you need,
want or could use help Mastering this thing let me know Ron I have more time then it looks like
you have. Anyway if i remember right we have two weeks to get the Two Hand vocal tracks for
Thorston, so i'll get mine in today and the sooner the better for the rest of you. When this is done
howabout Neil Young Record his music would lend well as does Townes to the square guitar.
I'd be in for some Neil. Down by the River, Cinnamon Girl, Like a Hurricane, the list goes on and on. Yaaaaaaahhhhh!!!! is right.
Oily, I think I'm busy but your life makes mine seem sedentary at best. Sounds like you have it under control, but I'm here if you need anything at all....
About to upload my Two Hands vocals.
*snif* I'm proud to call you CBN Friends. Yep, I got it under control; I can quit any time I want. >:-E
Will be doing my Two Hands vocals, and If I Needed You tracks tonight after the wife and kids go to bed.
Glad you're up for some Neil. Amazing catalog, multiple styles, finger pickin' electricity garage grunge...it's all one song! Yay!
Posting a a capella solo vocal of a praise song is not easy,I have not been to Church in years and it was a good feeling to sing this song. I'm only posting to keep the Townes Tribute on the front page.