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Steve Earl and a Crash Course in Townes.


 Celt
(@celt)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2653
Topic starter  

Sometime the Stars align properly or something.

Steve Earle played at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield MA last night 7/14/09.
I drive by the Colonial everyday so I knew this concert was approaching but things
are a little tight to be spending money on concert tickets right now.

What am I to do?

Well Friday my boss Jim and I get talking about Steve Earl and I mention that
I would have liked to see the show but the funds just aren't there.
A little while later Jim comes up and hands me a receipt for two tickets
for Steve Earle at The Colonial and says "A little employee appreciation bonus.Enjoy"

"Thank You I'm sure I will."

I have a very nice boss.

Anyways Now the fun starts not only do I find out that this was a somewhat late addition to the
Theater's and Tour's schedule but also the Tour is in support of Steve's new release Townes.This
is a tribute to his friend and mentor the late Townes Van Zandt.

Now I must confess only a passing knowledge of Townes so it's off to the internet.
After some reading and listening I'm hooked. This was a great songwriter who even
if he only wrote "Pancho and Lefty"(that's about all I knew) deserves acclaim.

Steve Earle gave an amazing performance. From the moment he took the stage he had
control of the hall. For two hours the audience sat and listened to the songs by and stories
of Townes. Steve threw some of his own also including "Fort Worth Blues" as an encore
"Copperhead Road" Knowing Steve Earl mostly as a songwriter I was quite impressed with
his guitar playing and his sense of humor.

Some of the standouts for me were of course "Pancho and Lefty"
"Marie" (possibly the saddest song I've ever heard)and "Colorado Girl"

NPR has more on this album and tour including audio
: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104154336

John

My SoundClick Page

Collaborations

" It's easier than waiting around to die" Townes Van Zandt


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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4389
 

Townes Van Zandt was a Fort Worth guy (where I grew up as a child and now live 30 miles from), so I've been familiar with him basically since childhood. (My father was a guitar player and would play some of Van Zandt's songs on occasion). Then I became familiar with the man himself and was kind of a follower for a while. He was actually classified as a "cult musician" at one time. It's just a shame that he never received the recognition that he deserved while he was alive. Even after Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings did "Pancho & Lefty" and brought it into the mainstream of country/folk, Townes Van Zandt was barely mentioned. Most people who are familiar with "Pancho & Lefty" think that Willie and Waylon wrote it. Such a shame. His son, JT Van Zandt is also a musician, following in his father's footsteps. (Here's a youtube link to one of JT's songs, you can also find a lot of Townes on there, too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmbxOr2mA80 ) You'll notice at the beginning of the video that JT mentions "Don't give me shock therapy, please". That's because his father, Townes, was manic depressive (it's called bipolar disorder now) and was given insulin shock therapy which erased most of his long term memory. He was a very interesting man and I am proud to say that I saw him play live on several occasions when I lived in Austin back in the 70's in little "dives" and "holes in the walls", nice, comfortable, friendly, small audience type of places. If you get a chance to read up on him, definitely do it! He was a fascinating man and an awesome musician/singer/songwriter.

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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 Celt
(@celt)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2653
Topic starter  

Elecktra

Thanks for the link that was nice.

I'm defiantly going to explore Townes' story and music and
any suggestions would be appreciated.

At the moment my favorite is "Waiting Around To Die"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHZ2oj8wDk

Think I'll go change my signature quote now

John

My SoundClick Page

Collaborations

" It's easier than waiting around to die" Townes Van Zandt


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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4389
 

Well, here are some good places to start:

http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/vanzandt_townes/bio.jhtml (a short biography)

http://woodyguthriesguitar.blogspot.com/2007/10/townes-van-zandt-if-i-needed-you.html (my favorite Townes song)

http://www.townesvanzandt.com/documentary.html (the movie made about Townes)

http://www.townesvanzandt.com/ (Townes' web site)

http://www.guitaretab.com/t/townes-van-zandt/ (a whole bunch of Townes' Tablature)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=townes+van+zandt&x=16&y=20 (all of his albums on Amazon.com - I highly recommend "Our Mother The Mountain" and "Delta Momma Blues" and "Texas Troubadour". But, then, he never made a bad album! They're all great!)

This ought to give you a pretty good idea of who Townes Van Zandt was, and definitely go to youtube and check out the videos that are up there. The tablature site gives mostly chords, but Townes was a fingerpicker, so you'd have to figure out the patterns (or not!).

"Aloneness is a state of being, whereas loneliness is a state of feeling.
It's like the difference between being broke and being poor."
- Townes Van Zandt

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

The tablature site gives mostly chords, but Townes was a fingerpicker, so you'd have to figure out the patterns (or not!).

Apparently not exclusively a fingerpicker, though. At least not when he was younger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGMwIoucYyY&feature=related

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

if you ever go see Guy Clark, he talks a lot about his good and bad times with TVZ. or maybe I should write "rough" instead of "bad" as Clark is wistful and humorous about it.

-=tension & release=-


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