What a magical pairing: Steve Earle with Townes Van Zandt, two of the most thoughtful folk guitarists to ever have fallen in love with 6 strings and a piece of wood. Van Zandt passed away in 1997, but not before leaving a mark on millions of listeners and, apparently, Earle, who is set to release “Townes” on May 12.

Van Zandt was a mentor to Earle, who decided now was the time to pay his respects to a man who reportedly heckled him at a performance in 1972.

Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle have both had their share of drug problems, which no doubt brought them together, or at least helped them bond quickly. They also both have a penchant for lyrics that deal in longing, love and loss. Earle says this may be the best album he has ever made. His albums are great, but judging by how easy it seemed for Earle to morph into Walon (the recovering addict in the Wire), makes me believe he can transform Townes songs into his own wonderfully, too.

Just watch this clip of Earle from 1998, his emotions are spilling out all over the floor.

Earle picked 15 songs for the album, including Pancho & Lefty. Townes version is available below.

Townes Van Zandt: Pancho & Lefty

Click the above link.

Townes Van Zandt: Pancho & Lefty

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