Friday, May 17, 2024

Various Artists - The Hitmakers Sing Townes Van Zandt (2022)

John Townes Van Zandt was born on 7 March 1944 in Fort Worth, Texas, into a wealthy family, and after the family relocated from Fort Worth to Billings, Montana in 1952, his father gave him a guitar, which he practiced while wandering the countryside. After attending the Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota, he enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1962, and wrote poetry and listened to records by Lightnin' Hopkins and Hank Williams. In the spring of his second year, his parents flew to Boulder to bring Townes back to Houston, worried about his binge drinking and episodes of depression, and he was admitted to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he was diagnosed with manic depression. He received three months of insulin shock therapy, which erased much of his long-term memory, but in 1965 he was accepted into the University of Houston's pre-law program. After his father died in January 1966 at age 52, he quit school and went on the road for the first time, having been inspired by his singer-songwriter heroes to pursue a career in playing music. His early gigs in Houston clubs mostly consisted of covers of songs written by Hopkins, Bob Dylan, and others, as well as original novelty songs like 'Fraternity Blues', and in 1968 he met songwriter Mickey Newbury in a Houston coffee shop, and he persuaded Van Zandt to go to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was introduced to the man who became his longtime producer, "Cowboy" Jack Clement. With Clement producing, Van Zandt recorded sessions in the studio which became his debut album, 'For The Sake Of The Song', released in 1968 by Poppy Records. The next five years were the most prolific of Van Zandt's career, as Poppy released the albums 'Our Mother The Mountain', 'Townes Van Zandt', 'Delta Momma Blues', 'High, Low And In Between', and 'The Late Great Townes Van Zandt'. It's his third album which has some of his most covered songs, and the fact the many of them are by modern artists, such as The Magic Numbers, Laura Marling, and Bright Eyes shows the esteem in which he is still held as a legend of American song-writing. 

Track listing

01 For The Sake Of The Song (Azure Ray 2002)  
02 Columbine (Mike Molaro 2021)  
03 Waiting Around To Die (Nathan Hamilton 2020)  
04 Don't Take It Too Bad (Steve Earle 2009  
05 Colorado Girl (Laura Marling 2014)  
06 Lungs (Jonell Mosser 1996)  
07 I'll Be Here In The Morning (The Stonemans 1970) 
08 Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel (Bright Eyes 2022)  
09 (Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria (The Magic Numbers 2010)  
10 None But The Rain (Robin & Linda Williams 1975)

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