Article

To Live Is to Fly - Remembering Townes Van Zandt

This is lovely, thanks for sharing it Kevin! I learned about Townes the week he died, when one of my songwriting mentors got up at an open mic and played "Pancho and Lefty," saying it was written by one of the greatest, who had just died. I was so disappointed that I hadn't heard his name earlier, not that I would have been able to meet him, but just so I could have known the anticipation of waiting for new music from him, from album to album. "To Live Is to Fly" is another favorite.

Thanks for the words of support, Kim. I read No Depression in print for a few years and love the website; it is truly a pleasure to  have my post featured! "Pancho and Lefty" is one of the great story-songs, isn't it? It is a favorite of my dad's, and I love it too. I know how you feel about discovering Townes just a little bit late-- I fell in love with Uncle Tupelo just before Anodyne came out, and never got to see them live. While it has been a blast to watch Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar evolve, I'd have loved to see them live and to learn what they would do next had they stayed together. There's nothing like that anticipation is there?

Thank you for the beautiful article. I can relate to KBOO (love the 'Boo!) and hearing the song you would never expect to be played on radio. The other day, something moved me to explore more of his music. As I discovered "To Live is to Fly," so many transitional things going on my life made a little more sense. And now seeing your article with those same lyrics, I am reminded of how music exists to connect us. 

Thanks Jennifer! That connection is what it's all about, isn't it? You might like this article, from my fledgling little blog, that speaks to our being conncted to and through music. Thanks for reading and for your comments!

Beautifully done, Kevin!  My first Townes LP was also the Old Quarter, a vinyl promo copy that I was fortunate enough to have autographed by Townes just a couple of years before he passed.  It is my most treasured item in my collection.  Thanks for the wonderful article.

Thanks for reading, Roger! What a keepsake you have there. It's been great to hear from a few diehard fans and to see some new listeners seeking out Townes' stuff. I appreciate the comments!

A fantastic reprise, your description of the KBOO show, Music from the True Vine , sounded like you were talking of my show, except I've only just gotten started this year, but the format you described is identical to mine.
On Townes Van Zandt specificially, I'm a new convert but am enjoying the discovery process, Townes didn't get much exposure down here in Aussie but through my show I'm trying to rectify that, thanks for a fantastic write up.

www.grradio.net

I listened to your latest podcast last night and loved it-- great stuff that I will tune into again! Thanks for commenting, I really do appreciate it!

Hi all, I remember talking with a friend about Townes about 40 years ago. I had a Townes LP, that I was not initially impressed by, particulary the vocals. My friend suggested I listen to "Our Mother, the Mountain".  Eventally, I did and it "took". Townes's music grew on me until over the next 20 years until I heard almost everything he recorded. I never saw him live, He had a reputation for being "out of it " on stage that I didn't want to chance my meager funds on. 

On the same Saturday after he died, I was alone, out of work, painting my sister's apartment when the news reached me about Townes. I was saddened, but not shocked by it.   He was truly a Zen-kind of poet. We shall not see his like again. RIP.  

Hi Paul, I'm with you-- I didn't fall in love with Townes' voice right away either. Luckily, I had fallen in love with many of his songs, through other artists, before I really knew who he was. Also, it's rare that I play a tune of his for someone else who 'gets him' right away, but like you mention he really grows on you over time. Thanks for sharing, and all the best!