Quick Hitters:: Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via the Great Unknown

I know in today’s day in age, another blogger revisiting an under appreciated and over talented artist from years past stacks up nicely beside another Justice remix when it comes to “required reading”, but when it comes to Townes Van Zandt, I feel like anyone trying to bring some attention to the man’s cannon of work deserves some recognition.

For the Sake of Song - a UK label - put together a collection of Townes covers from some terrific indie artists, and the resulting record - Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via the Great Unknown - is a perfect representation of TVZ’s reach. Whether it’s a Canadian artist like The Be Good Tanyas or The Great Lake Swimmers, an American like J Tillman, an Aussie outfit like Telefonica or a UK band like Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time, each of these artists treats the songs with respect and shows that the unknown man from Texas still influences modern country/folkers.

Every artist puts their heart and soul into the song which is admirable when they know the outcome will fall short of the original, but the tip of the cap to a great is a chance to say thanks. Tillman’s My Proud Mountain is spare and powerful, as is Kate Maki’s take on I’ll Be Here in the Morning, and others take a few more risks (like the sultry bass heavy take on St. John the Gambler from Telefonica) but at the end of the day, any fan of TVZ will find tracks to embrace (as well as a few that will just have you pining for the original and reaching for your collection of records).

Instead of giving away any of the fantastic tracks on this album, I’ll hit you with a song that was previously released and is fitting, as the moment in Heartworn Highway when Townes plays this song is my most vivid image of the man. So enjoy The Be Good Tanyas take on Waiting Around to Die, and do yourself a favor and pick up this terrific tribute to an even greater talent.

MP3:: The Be Good Tanyas - Waiting Around to Die
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/thetownesvanzandtproject
BUY:: http://www.forthesakeofthesong.co.uk/

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 11:28 am and is filed under Great Lake Swimmers, J Tillman, Kate Maki, Music, The Be Good Tanyas, Townes Van Zandt. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Quick Hitters:: Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via the Great Unknown”

Jason December 8th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Easily one of the most underrated songwriters of the 20th century. I can't wait to hear this.

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