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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.
Hi oily, trying again.Snake Song, Townes
Nope, sorry, no attachment (it's either Ning or pilot error, not sure which ;-) ). Try e-mailing an mp3 file of your song to me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org, then tell me that you've done that here in this Discussion. I'll check it, and upload it into this thread. I know Dan experienced similar issues with a few people on the Blues compilation, and Uncle John had trouble about 3 times with his upload for this album, too, so it isn't just you.
Thanks guys. I'm glad you saw my novel take on the tune as a bit of fun. It wasn't something I intended to do when I set out, but messing about with the recording and mixing software led me down that path. I've probably sated my big beat fixation for quite a while with this one, besides I'd prefer to spend time playing a guitar rather than sat for hours trying to program and match up beats.
When I listen back to the track it suddenly reminds me of an interesting album I bought about 10 years ago by a group called Snakefarm. The album attempted to meld old blues and folk songs with modern production and beats. Some of the takes are better than others, but when it works, It's great.
Turtle - Although I've got a couple of Asylum Street Spankers albums (back from when I would buy anything on the Bloodshot label), I wasn't aware of them producing a song called Hick Hop. I'll have to seek it out. I think I picked up the term from Jim White, who classified his music as "Hick Hop". Although, I might be wrong.
That Jim White link is cool. Thanks Vinyl.
Here's the Spanker's song. Pretty funny if you ask me.
That's great, I'll have to get myself some more Spankers goodness. Cheers for bringing it to my attention.
Hey folks, 1342 views! Some people are surely becoming Townes fans.
I wanted to do Townes's beautiful Gospel song, Two Hands. I am dissatisfied with how it sounds for me. Great song. Can somebody else do it?
I'm pleased to be in on this with Flying Shoes.
Wasn't there talk of a shared vocal. Two Hands would be perfect for this, you could get that Gospel Choir sound. Or the bar full of drunks sound. Just an idea but i think John is right it should be on this.
I like the idea for a big old finale to the album. Turtle had already suggested a communal version of Pancho & Lefty, which would allow for more people to share some of the vocals. He had already said he was willing to put that together.
I'm up for doing the mixing of the track, if people send me their vocal recordings. However, there is a problem I foresee with the varying quality of everyone's recordings. By the time you've layered up all the vocals, the combined hiss might be too much. I suppose we're not going to know the extent of the problem until we try it, and there's always some noise reduction whojamaflip that can be done.
For both of these tunes, we're going to need a track to sing over. Anyone?
That could be a very good idea. Either the Gospel or the drunks!