(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Much like Dylan had Woody, Steve Earle had Townes Van Zandt. The tumultuous career of Earle—five marriages, so much drugs, so much more denim—isn't too far from the struggles of Van Zandt, except Earle was somehow able to live through it all. His latest, Townes, is another homage to his icon (Earle previously paid his dues with a stark cover of "Tecumseh Valley" on '95's Train a Comin') with 15 covers and guest spots from Allison Moorer, Tom Morello, and even his own flesh and blood, Justin Townes Earle. See? He even named his kid after Van Zandt. Anyway, you'll need to pre-order Townes and the kind Music Millennium folks will get you a wristband that guarantees entry to this sure-to-be-packed performance. Maybe if you ask him real nice-like, Earle will do his AA monologue from The Wire. EAC


Steve Earle - "Poncho And Lefty" (Townes Van Zandt cover)

A couple things: Amazon is selling the digital download of Townes for $2.99. Um, sorry Music Millennium. Also, PopMatters has a great interview with Earle that features plenty of interesting stories about his relationship with Van Zandt. I particularly like this quote:

Is there any truth to the story that he heckled you from stage before you’d ever been introduced?
Oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely. That’s exactly what happened. He was very respectful while I was singing, but he was trying to get me to play the “Wabash Cannonball”, which I didn’t know. And finally I had to admit it. But, then I played one of his songs and he shut up.