If you're reading this blog, chances are pretty good that I don't need to tell you who Steve Earle is, and almost as good I won't need to tell you who Townes Van Zandt is. Earle's tribute album has been out for a while now, and in fact I got my copy for my birthday back in September (thanks, Jen!), but I'm just now getting around to writing this post about it.
Townes was Steve Earle's hero and mentor, and for a long time I've been using Steve's quote on and off as an email signature:
“Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.”
The album has been widely reviewed and blogged elsewhere, but it's amazingly good -- just Earle and a small handful of his friends, with no overproduction (which marred most of Townes' studio albums -- though as mentioned in that NY Times story above, his "Live at The Old Quarter" album is a perfect representation of his genius). This is a quietly droning version of one of my five favorite Townes Van Zandt songs. (Don't forget to click here to listen to another Townes cover.)
If you'd like to hear more from the album, or rip audio for a third bonus disc (the nice second disc is just Earle solo versions of the songs from the official album), you can check out live videos on YouTube, or click here or here.