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Review Of To Live's To Fly: The Ballad Of The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt. By John Kruth A Deeper Blue: The Life And Music Of Townes Van Zandt By Robert Earl Hardy, Chuck Vollan
Great Plains Quarterly
Townes Van Zandt was a founding member of the modern Texas singer-songwriter tradition and influenced or played with everyone from Bob Dylan to Norah Jones. His spare, evocative lyrics, coupled with his beautiful, articulate guitar playing, developed a particularly loyal and eclectic fan base. His songs have been covered most famously by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Emmylou Harris, but also by a host of great and lesser-known performers. He was a major influence on the "Outlaw" Country movement.
Van Zandt wrestled with inner demons. His eccentricities, mental illness, and the resulting heavy substance abuse, combined with often poorly produced ...