I was updating my iPod tonight, getting ready for a flight to Chicago next week. I was uploading albums I already had, so I could flesh out the new stuff I’d bought with some old faves. I ran into Townes Van Zandt (and the many, many people who covered him), and got lost for a while, just listening to all of his incredible songs.
This one is the most chilling, however. It’s “Waiting Around to Die”, which was one of the first songs he ever wrote, but it sure seems prophetic in light of the fact that Townes spent the next couple of decades working real hard at drinking himself to death.
Here’s a nice cover of Rex’s Blues, performed by Jay Farrar and Kelly Willis.
Didja know Townes wrote this one, too?
And here’s the amazing tribute to Townes from Austin City Limits. Emmylou Harris will absolutely slay you singing “If I Needed You”.
You may know me as a sports writing fella, but if there’s one thing I’m truly evangelistic about, it’s great music. And Townes was great music. Any country musician today could make a career out of songs TVZ flushed down his toilet as “not good enough”.
I’m gonna send this out to my Texas blogrollin’ homies: Semitough and Texas Gal. I’m not a Texan, but I am grateful to your state on a daily basis for sending us Townes and Bill Hicks, amongst others. We’ve really got to work on the poet/genius life expectancy thing, though.