Special event this Wednesday in Austin
Records. See below for details.
By Blurt Staff
Townes Van Zandt, who
passed away in ’97, is the subject of a new book assembled by journalist Brian
T. Atkinson. Titled I’ll Be Here in the
Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt, it spotlights
the elegant (“To Live’s To Fly”) and engaging (“For the Sake of the Song”)
lyricist’s significant impact on songwriting peers and followers.
“‘Pancho and Lefty’
changed-it unchained-my idea of what a song could be,” folk icon John Gorka
says midway through the new book, a tightly woven collection of more than 40 interviews
with artists deeply impacted by Van Zandt’s singular poetry. The book is part
of the John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, published in collaboration
with the Center for Texas Music History at Texas
San Marcos, Texas.
Several living legends – including Guy Clark,
Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett and Lucinda Williams – analyze
Van Zandt’s lyrics throughout the book and share poignant stories of witnessing
the troubled troubadour’s rise and fall. Atkinson doubles down on these
recollections with new insight from younger artists such as My Morning Jacket’s
Jim James, The Avett Brothers’ Scott Avett, Grace Potter, Josh Ritter and Kasey
Chambers to present a nuanced view of Van Zandt’s body of work, his reckless
lifestyle and his long-lasting influence.
Forewords by Van Zandt producer “Cowboy” Jack
Clement and longtime road manager Harold F. Eggers, Jr. open the book. Each chapter begins with a carefully crafted introduction in
which Atkinson provides context and background, linking each interviewee to Van
Zandt’s growing legacy as his generation’s most influential songwriter. “Townes
is a Christ-like figure in Texas,”
says country star Jack Ingram at the book’s close. “He is the one. He was
writing on another plane.”
“Townes’ reputation is awesome,” echoes
Outlaw country pioneer Ray Wylie Hubbard. “The word ‘poet’ keeps coming to
mind. I mean a real poet. When people discover Townes, they’re just
enlightened. They’re instant fans. If it were a perfect world, Townes would be
as well known as Bob Dylan.”
Wednesday January 4, 2012
N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
Author signing and songs performed by Hayes Carll,
Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry and Vince Bell