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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.
Very fine guitar picking an an excellent voice you have!
Well now, that's a fine rendition. Great picking and your voice is lovely, Ron. That's the perfect opening song on my virtual Goin' to Townes album playlist (Two Hands is going to be the last, by the way).
Excellent Ron. Love that song and you nailed it.
Probably my favorite TVZ song. You did a fine version of it!
Nooo, we haven't dropped of the face of the earth. Just a reminder for everyone (with me first on that list *deep chagrin*) to get any remaining vocals in for Two Hands and Pancho and Lefty before Thorsten takes off. Also, our June 15 deadline is fast approaching, so get your song submissions in pronto (I know this may be difficult for Voodoo Highway, as they are currently out on tour, so I may cut them and only them a little bit of slack for their version of "Waitin' Around To Die").
Also, for some pseudo-Townes related news:
And finally, I have not heard back from Jeanene Van Zandt, so I'm just gonna go ahead with my contact at MyTexasMusic.com, and let them know the album will be ready for download the last week of June (which gives me time to arrange and package everything, work out with Dan Sleep what procedure does for hosting / downloading an album from CBN, etc. ).
Back from a week in Vienna with my students (where I met the fabulous pickup producer Elmar) I've put my nothin-video out again - this time with better sound (deleted the old one). Hope you'll like it.
Excellent news! Looking forward to hearing whatever she decides to perform. :)
Yup, I agree with you Ron, she have the most soulful of voices. I'm excited about hearing her take on a TVZ tune.
Thanks very very much for putting this up! I filled in some more, based on what I've downloaded to my album folder:
Songs Already Done on TVZT Recorded By
Flying Shoes Uncle John
Nothin SUGIMUGI (Thorsten Henrichsen)
Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold Turtlehead
St. John The Gambler Vinylhed
Black Jack Mama Vinylhed
Still Looking For You
Buckskin Stallion Blues JimiZ?
Dollar Bill Blues Ben Kepler
Snake Song Russell Carlin
Rex's Blues SUGIMUGI (Thorsten Henrichsen)
If I Needed You Oily
Two Hands The Entire Group
Recently Submitted Recorded By
Tecumseh Valley Letha Allen
Awaiting Submission To Be Recorded By
Waiting Round To Die Voodoo Highway
Two Girls Oily
Can someone fill in the missing bits (artists, other songs)? Also, I'm pretty sure Jamie MacBlues submitted a song, but only on video, and I haven't had a chance to look it up on his Profile Page or rip it from the vid yet (very slow network connections today).
Here is my try at Tecumseh Valley. I did my version but based on what I saw of Nanci Griffith cover.