September 9, 2009

Steve Earle - Townes (2009)

When you hear people like Steve Earle talk about Townes Van Zandt, the story comes across as more of one belonging to a cowboy legend or folk hero rather than a flesh and blood, songwriting man. His documentary, Be Here to Love Me: A Film about Townes Van Zandt, is both an amazing portrait of a poetic songwriter and a haunting look inside the life of an awkwardly talented man who seems determined to destroy himself. Although people may be familiar with Van Zandt's songs covered by some of the biggest names in country and folk, less people recognize Townes playing his own songs. On Townes, Earle offers up his own renditions of van Zandt's gems mixed in with near-impersonations, and, for the most part, does a really good job. With a consolidation nod to Bob Dylan, Earle has been quoted as deeming Van Zandt the world's greatest songwriter, in addition to being his mentor and good friend. The respect and admiration shines through on the album, and people who are fans of Earle and Van Zandt should find the familiarity of Earle's sound and Van Zandt's songs a good blend. I guess the questions is: Did Earle bring anything new to the table, as far as Van Zandt's songs go? I would say that he brings enough to make this album worth checking out, especially if you are interested in hearing some cleaner version of Van Zandt's later songs.


Unknown said...

Townes Van Zant is dead, man. Since 1997 according to Wicko. B s

awmercy said...

So I guess you are saying that he did successfully destroy himself.