When the songs are that good it’s no surprise that there is a pair of albums out in the next month or so featuring covers of the late, great Townes van Zandt’s work.
The first one is Riding the Range – The songs of Townes Van Zandt, there’s an extra angle on this one as part of the proceeds from the sale goes to the QE2 Activity Centre, the album features 20 tracks in all from a great selection of artists including some personal favourites of mine, Danny & The Champions, Peter Case, Jeffery Foucault, Jeb Loy Nichols, Peter Bruntnell and of course Michael Weston King (who wrote the title track Riding the Range which Townes recorded and released as a single shortly before he died), I had the pleasure of seeing the last trio of singer songwriters performing together a couple of years ago and Weston King sang Marie on that occasion (always brings a lump to the throat that song), the wonderful Cover Lay Down has posted the track here.
The second album More Townes van Zandt by the Great Unknown is due out next month on For The Sake of The Song records, the previous album is real favourite and a quick glance at the unknowns recruited on the second album suggests this one will follow suit, the full track-listing is
1 Hero Horns (DK) – Snake Mountain Blues
2 The Sumner Brothers (CAN) – Colorado Girl
3 Amy Annelle (US) – Buckskin Stallion Blues
4 Neal Casal (US) – Rex’s Blues
5 The New Man (Olle Nyman) (SWE) – Kathleen
6 Shinyribs (The Gourds) (US) – Dollar Bill Blues
7 The Deep Dark Woods (CAN) – Silver Ships Of Andilar
8 The Highway Kind (CAN) – Highway Kind
9 Phosphorescent (US) – Why She’s Acting This Way
10 Leslie Stevens And The Badgers (US) – Flyin’ Shoes
11 The Unfaithful Ways (NZ) – Snow Don’t Fall
12 Band Of Annuals (US) – For The Sake Of The Song
13 Alela Diane (US) – Like A Summer Thursday
14 Treetop Flyers (UK) – When She Don’t Need Me
15 Luluc (AU) – None But The Rain
16 Vikta Fåglar (SWE) – Tower Song
17 New Found Land (SWE) – Rake
18 Phillip Roebuck (US) – Black Jack Mama
And don’t forget the Beat Surrender tribute to Townes (and Earle), which you can pick up here
The legend lives on.
And finally – another cover, the B-Side to Riding the Range Townes van Zandt – Dirty Old Town (original Ewan Maccoll)