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The Deep Dark Woods to Release The Place I Left Behind

The Deep Dark Woods wake the ghosts of Appalachia with their prairie gothic pyre-side tales. On their new record, The Place I Left Behind, the band finds continuity in themes of temporal and geographic alienation, neglected inward trails, and the scars of abandoned intimacies.

Buoyed by the success of working with mastermind recording engineer Darren Van Niekerk, on their self produced CBC Songquest single “Charlie's (is Coming Down)” the band decided to approach their new album the same way. Recorded in Halifax with Van Niekerk behind the board once again, The Deep Dark Woods’ first self produced album allowed them to experiment in the studio as never before. Toying with numerous reverbs, vintage amps, instruments and mellotron, they also tried some never before played versions and arrangements of some of the album's songs. While more physically and mentally exhausting than previous albums, it turned out exactly the way the band wanted it to and the reward is their most realized album to date.

The record opens with a song about Saskatoon’s rougher edges. “West Side Street” is a study in contrasts – finespun vocals and a gently rolling melody cushion the gloomy story. “The Place I Left Behind” is loosely based on an old folk standard. Gorgeously morose, the title track confirms that The Deep Dark Woods capture lonesome yearning at its loveliest. “Sugar Mama” is a sweet and lively invitation to tap toes and shake off the blues; a seeming coming-of-age story is treated with playful banjo and an airy gait.

A rainstorm over the desert of modern music, The Place I Left Behind offers murder ballads alongside scrappy rockers, lovesick hymnals and slow-dance waltzes. The album illuminates folk traditions without stripping the shadows of roots music history. The Place I Left Behind echoes with traces of time and space that are never fully abandoned or forgotten.

The Place I Left Behind will be released on Six Shooter Records in Canada on August 2nd and Sugar Hill Records in the US and worldwide on October 18th.

Tom Russell Joined By Calexico, Lucinda Williams, Van Dyke Parks On Cinematic 'Mesabi'

The Mesabi iron range juts into Minnesota, a desolate deposit of minerals and the birthplace of Bob Dylan. American composer and storyteller Tom Russell says that Bob Dylan inspired him to become an artist, and his new 'Mesabi' pays moving tribute with compelling tales that connect the iron range to the border town of Juarez, Mexico and the myth of Hollywood celebrity with cinematic, global revelry. 'Mesabi,' out Sept 6 on Shout! Factory, is a vast, interwoven collection of tales set to twangy rock, country and Mexican folk and features Calexico, Van Dyke Parks and Lucinda Williams.

Co-produced by Russell and keyboardist Barry Walsh, and recorded in several different studios in Tucson, Texas, Nashville and Los Angeles, 'Mesabi' is the 26th album from an artist whose songs have been recorded by such icons as Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.

'Mesabi' is thematically ambitious, drawing inspiration from American icons like Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and the perilous town of Juarez, Mexico, close to where Tom lives. Says Tom, "The puzzle is that [Juarez is] the most dangerous city in the world and El Paso, just over the bridge, is the safest city in the United States."

Along with the release of 'Mesabi,' 2011 has much in store for Tom. Filmmaker Monte Hellman ('Two-Lane Blacktop') demanded that Tom's new songs be included in his new film 'Road To Nowhere;' a book of 60 of Tom's paintings will be released this fall on Bang Tail Press; a documentary about Tom's life, 'Don't Look Down,' will be released soon; and he will be touring the US in September and October.

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'MESABI' TRACK LISTING:

1. Mesabi
2. When the Legends Die
3. Farewell Never Never Land
4. The Lonesome Death Of Ukulele Ike
5. Sterling Hayden
6. Furious Love (For Liz)
7. A Land Called "Way Out There"
8. Roll The Credits, Johnny
9. Heart Within A Heart
10. And God Created Border Towns
11. Goodnight, Juarez
12. Jai Alai
13. Love Abides

Bonus Tracks:
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
The Road To Nowhere

Tour dates and more info here.

Trampled By Turtles @ Telluride Bluegrass Fest

Trampled by Turtles, the highly regarded Duluth, MN acoustic 5-piece, will be making their debut at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival this summer.  They’ll be appearing Friday, June 17 at 4:30 pm (right after Jerry Douglas and before Emmylou Harris – great company to keep).

The band’s incendiary sets at SxSW 2011 and Coachella showed up in countless best-of lists and fest recaps by NPR, Esquire.com, American Songwriter and the Boston Globe, to name just a few.

It’s been a steady climb for the band since the April 2010 release of their breakthrough record, Palomino. The album is still holding in the Top 5 on the Billboard bluegrass charts, and critical acclaim has accompanied TBT’s word-of-mouth reputation as a live band not to be missed. While it’s the band’s energy and quicksilver picking that has made them a favorite on the tour and festival scene, it’s the songwriting that seals the deal. All the band members cut their teeth in rock, punk and metal bands but their original material draws from the same well of inspiration as Townes Van Zant, Dylan, Neil Young, Del McCoury and Ralph Stanley, putting their own unique spin on this classic genre.

Trampled by Turtles have been tapped to provide music for the Adult Swim cartoon Squidbillies, and will be releasing a split vinyl/digital single with fellow Minnesota band Motion City Soundtrack in June 2011. Stay tuned for further details

Nathan Moore To Release 'Dear Puppeteer' Feb. 1

Nathan Moore has announced the release of Dear Puppeteer, his latest collection of songs, due February 1 on Royal Potato Family. The Staunton, Virginia-based singer and songwriter recorded the album around his home in the Shenandoah Valley with co-producer and guitarist Bryan Elijah Smith, as well as, out West at his previous Santa Fe, New Mexico stomping grounds, Frogville Studios.

Dear Puppeteer could best be described as a letter in 13 songs from Nathan Moore to the puppet masters: fear, mortality, the righteous, the jailor, lost love and lost time. On the title track, Moore sings: “Gonna write a letter, dear puppeteer, I don’t want to play here, I don’t wanna stay here." From this simple plea it's apparent that a restless spirit is at work. Nathan's warm fingerpicked acoustic guitar, ghostly harmonica gales, ancient ukulele meditations and tobacco-stained vocals are inhabited by a poet seeking something better, while giving song to the human condition in all of its beauty and sadness.

A crowning achievement from one of this generation's most prolific songwriters, Dear Puppeteer is Nathan Moore's ninth studio album to date. It follows 2009's well-received EP, Folk Singer, which led Paste Magazine to write, "The sharp, introspective lyrics of Nathan Moore draw an instant connection to the great folk singers of the past." The UK's Maverick Magazine said, "Many have come and many have tried, but we may finally have a storytelling successor to Dylan, Van Zandt and Cash." Moore, who first came to national attention as a founding member of ThaMuseMeant, also currently fronts the revered American rock band Surprise Me Mr. Davis.

Check out some coverage of Nathan Moore on The Grateful Web. | Stream debut track "Hollow" here

Dear Puppeteer track listing:

1. Like A Cartoon

2. Safe To Say

3. Dear Puppeteer

4. In The Basement

5. A Little Crazy

6. I'm The Same

7. The Garden

8. Hollow

9. Can't Fly To Heaven

10. When My Time Comes

11. Train Of Thoughts

12. Choose Thy Love

13. I'm Good Company

Sharon Van Etten Announces U.S. Tour

If your New Year’s Resolution is to finally see one of 2010’s most-loved singer/songwriters perform live, then you might be in luck! After touring Japan next month, Sharon Van Etten will embark on a six-city tour in January, followed by a string of highly-coveted international dates opening for The National.  She’ll bring along songs from her recently-released sophomore album epic (Ba Da Bing), as well as a few new gems that will steal your heart (though just to warn you, her songs might break your heart as well).  Don’t miss her this time around!

Just before Sharon launched her current tour opening for Junip, she visited the NPR offices to film a Tiny Desk Concert, which is now available online.  In this video, one witnesses a charming woman who grins humbly after each song before plunging into the next set of emotionally-charged lyrics.  And if she wasn’t busy enough, this week marks the release of I’m Giving Up On You (Polyvinyl), a 7” featuring two exclusive songs (which is sold out, but available on iTunes), plus you can find Sharon’s distinctive vocals on the forthcoming album from Brooklyn-based band Airwaves.

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Sharon Van Etten Tour Dates:

Dec. 3, 2010              Nara, Japan – Nara Café Sample

Dec. 4, 2010              Kyoto, Japan – Kyoto Urbanguild

Dec. 5, 2010               Fukui, Japan – Turuga Pinon-Pinon

Dec. 7, 2010               Aichi, Japan – Nagoya JD Japon

Dec. 8, 2010              Kanagowa, Japan – Kamakura Café Goatee

Dec. 9, 2010              Tokyo, Japan – Shibuya, 7th Floor

Dec. 11, 2010             Nagano, Japan – Matsumoto Cafe

Dec. 12, 2010             Tokyo, Japan - FoundLand

Jan. 8, 2011               New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

Jan. 19, 2011              New Haven, CT - BAR

Jan. 20, 2011             Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's

Jan. 21, 2011              Columbus, OH - Wexner Performance Space at OSU

Jan. 22, 2011             Nashville, TN - The 5 Spot

Jan. 23, 2011             Asheville, NC – TBD

Feb. 15, 2011             Belgium, Brussels - Forest National w/The National

Feb. 22, 2011             Poland, Krakow – Studio w/The National

Feb. 24, 2011             Poland, Warsaw – Stodola w/The National

Feb. 25, 2011             Germany, Berlin - C-Halle w/The National

Feb. 26, 2011             Denmark, Aarhus – SCC w/The National

Feb. 28, 2011             Sweden, Lund - Färs & Frosta w/The National

Mar. 1, 2011               Sweden, Stockholm – Cirkus w/The National

Mar. 3, 2011              Finland, Helsinki - The House of Culture w/The National

Mar. 4, 2011              Finland, Helsinki - The House of Culture w/The National

Watch Sharon Van Etten’s Tiny Desk Concert here.

Download the audio from Sharon Van Etten’s Tiny Desk Concert here.

Download Sharon Van Etten’s 7” I’m Giving Up On You here.

Listen to/download “Don’t Do It” off of epic here.

Javelin Announce US Tour

“George was pretty damn eclectic as a kid,” says Tom Van Buskirk, referring to his cousin/Javelin collaborator, George Langford. “I was more of a snob, growing up on the Beatles and classical music. Like I didn’t get into Nirvana until after MTV Unplugged came out. I’m always late to the party.”

Maybe that’s why Javelin formed in 2005—to throw a party of their own, one that sees nothing wrong with dropping crooked disco (“On It On It”), schoolyard funk (“Intervales Theme”), abstract R&B (“Dep”) and pitch-perfect pop (“Mossy Woodland”) in the same set. At least that’s the way things unfold on Javelin’s debut album, No Más, the eagerly-awaited follow-up to a self-released collection of demos (Jamz n Jemz) and a pair of limited Thrill Jockey 12-inches (Javelin, Number Two).

It’s as if Javelin were programmed to reproduce the golden age of every genre known to man, bouncing between samplers and strings, drum machines and drum sets, and a growing collection of guitars, horns and homemade thumb pianos. You read that right: Most of No Más’ dusty 45 moments aren’t lifted from actual recordcrates. They’re painstakingly recreated, note by note, from the jukebox in Javelin’s collective mind.

“I love making music that has flaws and human fingerprints all over it,” adds Langford. “There’s also that grey area where you can’t tell what’s a sample, although it leaves you wanting to say, ‘Hey, I did that!’”

There’s no denying who’s doing what at Javelin shows, ever-evolving pieces of performance art that leave the laptops at home and have more in common with the multi-tracked madness of an old Jamaican sound system than the standard guitar/bass/drums setup of a ‘band’.

“The worst thing in the world would be to have a wall of dudes staring at your gear, watching your every move,” says Langford, “So we try to inject as much life and energy into our performances as possible.”

When they first started playing around Providence, this meant an overwhelming array of “turntables, glockenspiels and percussion.” Now that they’ve settled in Brooklyn and stripped their restless sound down to its bare essentials, Javelin’s become known as the guys with the boom boxes, a Flaming Lips-like technique that’s allowed them to break down the artist/audience wall at such tour stops as New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

“A lot of people think they’re ornaments, but they play sound,” says Van Buskirk. “It’s like, ‘You really thought we dragged all of this here for nothing?”

Never. You see, everything has its place in a Javelin song, from the shimmering keys and brassy strut of “Shadow Heart” to the loony tune loops of “Oh! Centra.” So if you’re trying to ‘figure Javelin out’, don’t bother. These musical omnivores work their music like a rabid radio dial, leaving a tricky trail of sonic breadcrumbs in their wake. Or as Langford puts it, “The minute I start working in one style, I get distracted and want to work on another one. We kinda gave up on finding our ’sound’ years ago.”

Tour Dates
2/9 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY*
2/16 - Academy 2 - Birmingham, UK*
2/17 - Oran Mor - Glasgow, UK*
2/19 - The Academy - Dublin, IE*
2/20 - Speakeasy - Belfast, NI*
2/21 - Academy 3 - Manchester, UK*
2/22 - The Faversham - Leeds, UK*
2/23 - Heaven - London, UK*
2/24 Windmill Brixton  LONDON, UK (headlining)
2/25 - Thekia - Bristol, UK*
2/26 - Digital - Brighton, UK*
-
3/4 - E & L Auditorium - New York, NY
3/5 Trocodero Theatre w/ Man Man -PHILADELPHIA, PA
3/23 - The Jackpot Saloon - Lawrence, KS#
3/24 - Bourbon Theatre - Lincoln, NE#
3/25 - Public Space One - Iowa City, IA#
3/26 - The Bishop - Bloomington, IN
SAT 3/27 BIG EARS FESTIVAL - KNOXVILLE, TN
3/28 - Cafe Bourbon St - Columbus, OH
3/29 - The Cafe - Detroit, MI#
3/30 - And And And (Artspace) - Toronto, ON#
3/31 - The Friendship Cove - Montreal, QC#
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Yeasayer US Tour
SAT 4/3 WASHINGTON, DC 9:30 CLUB*
SUN 4/4 CARRBORO, NC Cat's Cradle*
MON 4/5 ASHEVILLE, NC Orange Peel*
TUE 4/6 ATLANTA, GA Masquerade*
WED 4/7 MEMPHIS, TN Hi Tone Café*
THU 4/8 DALLAS, TX Granada Theatre*
FRI 4/9 HOUSTON, TX House of Blues*
SAT 4/10 AUSTIN, TX The Parish*
SUN 4/11 AUSTIN, TX  The Parish*
TUE 4/13 MARFA, TX Crowley Theatre*
WED 4/14 TUCSON, AZ Club Congress*
THU 4/15 PHOENIX, AZ Rhythm Room*
FRI 4/16 - La Casa Encendida - Madrid, ES

* Yeasayer

Jazz & Sounds Festival | Gent, Belgium

Beginning in 2010, Gent Jazz Festival, De Bijloke Music Centre, Vooruit Arts Centre, University College Ghent - Faculty of Music and the University College Ghent - Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) will work together in the annual initiative, the Jazz & Sounds Festival. This new festival will focus on the versatility of contemporary music. The first edition takes place from March 22 - 28, 2010.

Improvisation and creation are important mainstays of the Jazz & Sounds Festival combining the interaction from and to jazz, contemporary, classical, alternative rock, electronic music, improvised music, non-western music and more. The festival offers not a linear but an organic whole of concerts each day, where several concerts and performances can coincide. Visitors will have to make choices within the programme or will be guided by the surprise of the moment.

The festival starts March 22 in the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music with Impressions of a Blue Kind, a prestigious project spotlighting students from the faculties of music of Ghent, Tilburg and Maastricht. The next day, March 23, a presentation by Eddy Van Oosthuyse is planned in the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music with soloists from the Brussels Philharmonic showcasing the role of contemporary clarinet in chamber music.

From then on the Jazz & Sounds Festival moves to Arts Centre Vooruit March 25 and 26. The first day starts with a documentary about Han Bennink. The same day Jazz & Sounds delivers a jazz and literature project by trio Ben Sluijs/Jules Deelder/Remco Campert and concerts featuring saxophone player Colin Stetson and the duo of Erik Truffaz/Malcolm Braff. The festival concludes this first day by presenting Hairy Bones with among others Peter Brötzmann and Toshinoro Kondo.

Friday March 26 in Arts Centre Vooruit finds the duo Eric Thielemans/Josse De Pauw in performance, double bass player Joëlle Léandre and the premiere of Flat Earth Society’s new venture with John Watts. Elliott Sharp’s Carbon concludes the Jazz & Sounds Festival in Arts Centre Vooruit.

March 27 and 28 the festival is hosted by Music Centre De Bijloke. Saturday starts with Cage Aria by Françoise Vanhecke. Afterwards, visitors can choose between a documentary on Charlie Haden and a creation by Sophie Allour and Jozef Dumoulin together with drummer Dré Pallemaerts. This project was crafted especially for the Jazz & Sounds Festival in collaboration with the Tourcoing Jazz Festival.

Later that day on the programme, there is Dutch cello player Ernst Reijseger, Spectra with work by Mantovani and Alexandros Markeas, a project by El Negocito Records and Foundation Logos, Fred Van Hove together with Barry Guy and Wilbert de Joode, and a presentation by the students of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music on Julius Eastman conducted by Alexandros Markeas. Ending this festival day is an improvisation workshop by Joëlle Léandre with students of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music and Miroslav Vitous with his Remembering Weather Report.

Sunday March 28, is the last day of Jazz & Sounds and it starts with a concert by Ellery Eskelin and his group. Following this, the students of the University College Ghent, Faculty of Music play John Cage’s Songbooks and attendees can view a documentary on photographer Leonard Herman. Continuing the programme  on  this last day, there is trombone player Wolter Wierbos, a project by El Negocito Records in collaboration with Foundation Logos, and the duo of Ben Sluijs/Tom Van Bauwel exploring the writings of Paul Van Ostaijen. Nadar, Arsis4, Peter Jacquemyn and Jan Pillaert will interpret work by Daan Janssens and Stefan Prins.  Music by Rik De Geyter performing clarinet artistry for Stockhausen’s ‘Little Harlequin’ will be also be presented. Enescu re-Imagined by Lucian Ban & John Hébert is the closing act for the first edition of the Jazz & Sounds Festival. Pianist  Lucian Ban revised the musical legacy of Romanian composer George Enesco and created a bold contemporary jazz composition. Ban gathered an impressive group of musicians from the New York jazz scene around him for this project: among others featured are John Hébert, Nasheet Waits, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri and Ralph Alessi.

On March 22 the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music organises an Open Lab on artistic research in Music Centre De Bijloke. March 26, a panel discussion on the same subject is organised in the Bijloke. Both activities are free and were organised in collaboration with IPEM-UGent, Foundation Logos and Ghent University Association.

Students and teachers of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) will participate as well in this first edition. Different departments of the faculty helped to create a visual festival identity and installations which serve as communicative machines were created. The Media Art Department confronts visitors to the festival with installations in which sounds, rhythm and timbre call the tune.

The Life & Music of Townes Van Zandt

Fame didn't seem to be something Townes Van Zandt was after in life but since his tragic and unexpected death in 1997 at the age of 52, he's gradually moved more and more into the Americana limelight. Not only is one of his many previously un-known songs the title track to Mike's new album, but Steve Earle, who was mentored by Van Zandt and who remained a life-long friend, has a new tribute album compiled in his honor on the way. There's also an all-star tribute album, "Poet, a Tribute to Townes Van Zandt", out featuring Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, John Prine and others, Lonestar Music. Since his death, two books, a documentary film and more have been composed in his memory.

townesA cult figure in Roots/Country music and Outlaw Country since the 70s, Van Zandt was a huge influence on many, many artists from a wide range of genres, (from Bob Dylan to Robert Plant). He had an impact on so many, in fact, that he's almost better described as a force of music nature, some sort of raw muse, than just a singer/songwriter. He's been aptly called both "one of the greatest country and folk artists of his generation" (AllMusic) and "one of the most underrated songwriters of the century" (AOLMusic).

In his recent interviw with "Rolling Stone", Steve Earle says of him:

"It's how I learned to play; it's how I learned to perform...I finger pick like he did. He was sitting right in front of me when I was really learning to play...I've only seen a handful of people that were as good as he was."

In spite of all of this and some material success via singles like, "Poncho and Lefty", (taken to #1 on the Billboard Country charts by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), Townes never had a successful album or single of his own. Some of that seems to have been due to bad production, some perehaps to management choices, lifestyle choices, but it seems that he cared more about song-writing than being in the lime-light when you got right down to it.

For example, Van Zandt turned down repeated invitations to write with Bob Dylan. The two admired one anothers music but it is said that Dylan's celebrity didn't appeal to Van Zandt. They ultimately met by accident outside a costume shop in Austin in 1986, (well, I wouldn't say accident, I'd say there aren't any accidents that big - instant karma seems more like it). Dylan later arranged another meeting with him and for it, The Drag in Austin was shut down for Dylan and Van Zandt drove his motorhome to the quartered-off area. (I wonder if they didn't actually sit down and write something that day and just didn't tell...)

Incidentally, when Steve Earle once said of Townes that he was, "the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." Van Zandt wryly responded: "I've met Bob Dylan's bodyguards and if Steve Earle thinks he can stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table, he's sadly mistaken."

So, though hugely influential now and certainly brilliant, (or maybe in part because he was brilliant and that can be harder to sell), he spent most of his life touring around playing small bars, sleeping in cheap motel rooms, backwoods cabins and on friends' couches. He also was notoriously addicted to drugs and alcohol and, per Wikkipedia, known for his tendency to tell tall tales, (maybe they weren't -- maybe he, as our host here once told me he did, just took good notes).

Contrastingly, he was born in Fort Worth, Texas to an oil-wealthy family, the third-great-grandson of one of the founders of the city. (Van Zandt County in east Texas was named after his family in 1848.) His father was a corporate lawyer and His family moved a lot, a habit Townes seems to have embraced and retained throughout his life. (Though he developed an attachment to Colorado, where he said he sometimes spent entire summers alone on horseback in the mountains.)

When his parents discovered their son had a genius IQ, they began grooming him to be a a lawyer or senator, (and I'll bet he'd have been a great one if that's what he'd wanted to do - well, maybe with some changes to the drug/alcohol/Townes ratio - but imagine the speeches he'd have written. And Dylan & Steve Earle as VP & Secretary of State please...)

townesWhile at the University of Colorado at Boulder, his parents became concerned that he was depressed and drinking heavily. They brought him back to Houston and admitted him to a psychiatric hospital where, unfortunately, he diagnosed with manic depression. At the time, a treatment for this was, even more unfortunately, insulin shock therapy, which erased much of his long-term memory. After wards, he was accepted into law school but ultimately quit for good around 1967 to pursue music. And good thing for the world he did. His music is quite accurately described in his AOL Music bio as something that:

"...doesn't jump up and down, wear fancy clothes, or beat around the bush. Whether he was singing a quiet, introspective country-folk song or a driving, hungry blues, Van Zandt's lyrics and melodies were filled with the kind of haunting truth and beauty that you knew instinctively...He could bring you down to a place so sad that you felt like you were scraping bottom, but just as quickly he could lift your spirits and make you smile at the sparkle of a summer morning or a loved one's eyes -- or raise a chuckle with a quick and funny talking blues. The magic of his songs is that they never leave you alone."

Soon, Van Zandt met and was inspired by Lightning Hopkins, Guy Clark, Doc Watson and others who played in the Houston music scene at the time. He played mostly cover songs until encouraged by his father at the end of his life, (1966), to quit it and write his own songs. In 1968, songwriter Mickey Newbury talked him into going to Nashville, where he introduced him to "Cowboy" Jack Clement, who became his producer.

Due in part to Van Zandt's focus on songwriting rather than recording, Clement took some often unfortunate creative license with his albums. This probably had a little to do with the fact that they didn't sell well. But that just wasn't Van Zandt's priority. I have a feeling that, had it been, he'd have been as famous as he liked. On second thought, maybe he was as famous as he liked.

For much of the 1970s, he lived a reclusive life outside of Nashville in a tin-roofed, bare-boards shack with no heat, plumbing or telephone, occasionally appearing in town to play shows. Steve Earle would later say that Van Zandt's primary concerns during this time period were planting morning glories, listening to Paul Harvey's radio show, and watching the sitcom Happy Days. (Wikipedia)

In 1975, Van Zandt was featured prominently in the documentary film "Heartworn Highways" with Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and David Allen Coe. Van Zandt is shown drinking straight whiskey during the middle of the day, shooting and playing with guns, and performing the songs "Waitin' Around to Die" and "Pancho & Lefty" at his trailer home in Austin with his soon-to-be second wife Cindy and dog Geraldine.

So what exactly is it that moves the son of a Texas oil baron to become a wayward drifter? Rebellion? Maybe. It would seem on the outside that it was all about depression and addiction, with resultant mis-managed opportunities and missed chances. But, then again, he sure seemed to know what he was doing and he sure was good at it. Would his songs have been as good if he'd not remained a sort of living representation of them, (which stardom would certainly have made impossible)? Maybe his career, was more well thought out than it appears; he just did it his way.

townesIn the mid-1970s, Van Zandt split from his longtime manager, Kevin Eggers and moved to John Lomax III, (grandson of the famed folk music historian John Lomax). Lomax started a fan club for him which, though only advertised through small ads in the back of music magazines, began to receive hundreds of impassioned letters from around the world from people who felt touched by Van Zandt.

In the Summer of 1978, he fired Lomax and re-hired Eggers. He soon after signed to Egger's new label, Tomato Records and recorded "Flyin' Shoes' the following year. He would not release another album until 1987's At My Window but continued to tour.

Two years later, Sugar Hill released Live & Obscure and two more live albums (Rain on a Conga Drum and Rear View Mirror) appeared on European labels in the early '90s. In 1990, he toured with the Cowboy Junkies, and wrote a song for them, "Cowboy Junkies Lament," (with a verse for each member). They also wrote a song for him, "Townes Blues".

Sugar Hill released Roadsongs in 1994, featuring covers by Lightnin' Hopkins, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, and others, all recorded off the soundboard during recent concerts. At the end of that same year, they released No Deeper Blue, his first studio album since 1987, recorded in Ireland with Irish musicians.

Van Zandt was married 3 times. First to Fran Petters on August 26, 1965; with whom he had a son, John Townes "J.T." Van Zandt II. They divorced in 1970. He moved in with Cindy Morgan in late 1974, and the two married in Nashville in September 1978. They became estranged for much of the early 1980s, and were divorced in 1983. His third and final marriage was in 1983 to Jeanene Munsell, who he met in 1980 at a memorial for John Lennon. They had 2 children, William Vincent and Katie Bell. They divorced in 1994 but remained close until Townes' death.

On December 19 or 20, Van Zandt fell down the stairs outside his home, badly injuring his hip, and refused medical treatment. Determined to finish an album that he had scheduled to record with Shelley and Two Dollar Guitar, he showed up to the studio in a wheelchair with Eggers. Shelley canceled.

Van Zandt finally agreed to hospitalization, but not before returning to Nashville. By the time he had consented to receive medical care, eight days passed since the injury. On December 31, X-rays revealed that Van Zandt had an impacted left femoral neck fracture in his hip, and several corrective surgeries were performed.

Jeanene informed the surgeon that one of Townes' previous rehab doctors had told her detoxing could kill him. She checked Townes out of the hospital against medical advice. Understanding that he would most likely drink immediately after leaving the hospital, the physicians refused to prescribe him any painkillers.

"By the time Van Zandt was checked out of the hospital early the next morning, he had begun to show signs of DTs. Jeanene rushed him to her car, where she gave him a flask of vodka to ward off the withdrawal delirium. She would later report that after getting back to his home in Smyrna, Tennessee and giving him alcohol, he was "lucid, in a real good mood, calling his friends on the phone." (Wikipedia)

townesUnfortunately, Townes Van Zandt died on January 1, 1997 at the age of 52, 44 years to the day after Hank Williams, who he stated was one of his main songrwriting influences. His official cause of death was "natural" cardiac arrhythmia.

Five years before his death, when asked by an interviewer from "No Depression Magazine" if he thought the growing interest in country music the popularity of Garth Brooks had spawned would benefit him, Townes made this remarkable and insightful statement:

"No, I don't think, as a matter of fact, that I'm going to benefit from anything on this earth. It's more like that, I mean, if you have love on the earth, that seems to be number one. There's food, water, air and love, right? And love is just basically heartbreak. Human's can't live in the present as animals do; they just live in the present. But human's are always thinking about the future or the past. So, it's a veil of tears, man. And I don't know anything that's going to benefit me except more love. I just need an overwhelming amount of love. And a nap. Mostly a nap."

And so it seems the world lost one of it's few true free spirits in a truly tragic way. But, then again, can it be said that someone like Townes Van Zandt is ever really gone? I don't think so. In fact, his music continues to breathe with new life and force. It seems that it's intent is so direct it transcends normal human boundaries. Even death.

So, it's sort of like, we didn't hear that much about his music for so long because, well, like Townes, it kinda spent a lot of time napping, existing just beneath the surface of what most people are aware of. But it's there, as in dreams, that we are all really influenced the most.

“Rolling Stone” recently interviewed Steve Earle Interview with Steve Earle about Townes and his upcoming album of Van Zandt tunes and Michael O’Neal, former band-mate of Bob Weir, is releasing “Ain’t Leavin’ Your Love”, an album featuring a previously un-released Van Zandt tune on the title track.

PAUL VAN DYK: FULL TRACK LISTING FOR DOUBLE-DISC 'BEST OF' ANTHOLOGY UNVEILED

Throughout his unparalleled 15-year career in electronic dance music, PAUL VAN DYK has achieved what most musicians in any genre only dream of: a hugely successful recording career that has resulted in over three and a half million albums sold worldwide, a prestigious Grammy nomination, a high profile remixography that includes U2, Justin Timberlake, Depeche Mode and Britney Spears, multiple sold-out global tours and now his very own DJ iPhone and iPod App.  Following the June 9 (retail) and May 26 (digital) release date announcement for his next album VOLUME (Ultra Records), the dance music trailblazer has now unveiled details about the package’s track listing and U.S. tour.

van dykVOLUME is a heavyweight two-disc anthology of PAUL VAN DYK’s most memorable and requested releases of original songs from his studio albums 45 RPM (1994), Seven Ways (1996), Out There And Back (2000), the Grammy-nominated Reflections (2003) and In Between (2007), plus various remix productions.  CD 1 is a mixed collection of his original works including “White Lies,” featuring the Pussycat Dolls’ Jessica Sutta, “Nothing But You” and “Time Of Our Lives” with Vega 4, whose lead singer Johnny McDaid also lends his vocals to the brand new song “Home” that was created specially for VOLUME.  Also highlighted are VAN DYK’s stellar hits “Forbidden Fruit” and “We Are Alive” that achieved worldwide chart success.

The set additionally includes a new mix by VAN DYK--as constantly requested by his fans--of his timeless classic “For An Angel.”  Also available to coincide with the release will be a remix EP of a number of new mixes by Spencer & Hill, Miika Kuisma, Filo and Peri, Dave Darrell and others of “For An Angel.”  CD 2 consists of his most popular remixes of artists such as U2, Depeche Mode, New Order, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.  The complete track listing follows below.

In support of VOLUME, the live electronic music performer who’s known for his creative on-the-spot mastery will embark on an intense tour, appearing in 17 cities in 17 days.  The VOLUME tour kicks off June 11 in Scottsdale, AZ and will take VAN DYK throughout middle-America, making stops in such markets as Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville and Atlanta.  The leg wraps June 26 with a headlining spot at the Electric Daisy Carnival in downtown Los Angeles, the two-day festival where over 100,000 people are expected.  Select dates prior to the tour will have VAN DYK hitting San Francisco and Las Vegas for headlining one-off Memorial Day weekend performances.  The highly anticipated tour is one of the most sought-after tickets this summer.  Fans can check out www.wantickets.com/paulvandyk, the official ticket provider of the PAUL VAN DYK - VOLUME U.S. Tour, for more information.

Since announcing the PAUL VAN DYK iPhone Application last Monday, April 21, the YouTube link which depicts him demonstrating the different assets of the app has already received over 10,000 views.  “What you have is different tools that … are very, very helpful if you’re a DJ,” VAN DYK told Deanna Rilling of the Las Vegas Weekly (4/23/09) about the new technology.  “Van Dyk explains that he didn’t want a boring app that people lose interest in after a few minutes. ‘I wanted to have something more than just a gadget,’ he says. Van Dyk’s app has BPM, decibel and frequency meters, plus a torch function to illuminate the booth in case a DJ loses a contact lens or drink ticket.”

View the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES8Km5UUn8U

The complete track listing for VOLUME is as follows:

Disc 1

1. For An Angel (PvD Remix ‘09)

2. Home (PvD Club mix)

3. Let Go

4. White Lies

5. Nothing But You

6. Another Way

7. Forbidden Fruit

8. Together We Will Conquer

9. New York City

10. A Magical Moment

11. The Other Side

12.  We Are Alive

13. Time of Our Lives

Disc 2

1. Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around Comes Around (PvD Mix)

2. U2 – Elevation (PvD Mix)

3. Depeche Mode – Martyr (PvD Mix)

4. Timo Maas – Pictures (PvD Mix)

5. New Order – Spooky (PvD Mix)

6. Humate - Love Stimulation (PvD Mix)

7. Faithless - Bring My Family Back (PvD Mix)

8. Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard - Batman Theme (Paul van Dyk remix)

9. Binary Finary – 1998 (PvD Mix)

10. Lisa Miskovsky - Still alive (PvD Mix)

11. Britney Spears - Gimme More (PvD Mix)

PAUL VAN DYK’s upcoming U.S. tour dates are:

DATE

CITY

VENUE

Fri 5/23

San Francisco, CA

Cow Palace

Sun 5/24

Las Vegas, NV

Rain

VOLUME tour:

Thu 6/11

Scottsdale, AZ

Myst Nightclub

Fri 6/12

Salt Lake City, UT

The Great Saltair Amphitheater

Sat 6/13

Denver, CO

Electric Daisy Carnival - Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Regional Park

Sun 6/14

Albuquerque, NM

Sunshine Theatre

Mon 6/15

Oklahoma City, OK

City Walk

Tues 6/16

St. Charles, MO

HOME

Wed 6/17

Columbus, OH

BoMA

Thu 6/18

Pontiac, MI

Crofoot Ballroom

Fri 6/19

Minneapolis, MN

Epic

Sat 6/20

Chicago, IL

Congress Theatre

Sun 6/21

Milwaukee, WI

The Rave

Mon 6/22

Indianapolis, IN

Talbott Street

Tues 6/23

Nashville, TN

Limelight

Wed 6/24

Atlanta, GA

Opera

Thu 6/25

Dallas, TX

Lizard Lounge

Fri 6/26

Houston, TX

Bar Rio

Sat 6/27

Los Angeles, CA

Electric Daisy Carnival - LA Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park

ELECTRONIC ICON PAUL VAN DYK RELEASES 'VOLUME'

Grammy-nominated artist and internationally acclaimed DJ and producer PAUL VAN DYK (PvD) has dominated electronic music since the early 1990’s.  He is renowned as one of the world's hardest working artists, with sold-out tours that cross each continent, headline spots at every major festival and for having a hugely successful recording career.  This spring the Berlin, Germany-based artist will celebrate his musical achievements with the release of VOLUME, an album of his best works to date.

Set for release in stores June 9 and digitally May 26 on Ultra Records, the album will encompass selections from his massive, 15-year catalogue.  VAN DYK is currently finalizing the track listing but fans are sure to find works from his studio albums 45 RPM (1994), Seven Ways (1996), Out There And BackReflections (2003) and In Between (2007).  Volume will also include the long-awaited remastered and remixed classic “For an Angel” and a brand new song titled “Home” featuring vocals by Johnny McDaid of Vega 4 who also collaborated with VAN DYK on the single “Time Of Our Lives” from Reflections. (2000), the Grammy-nominated

Leading up to the release of Volume, PAUL VAN DYK will travel stateside for a run of select tour dates in March and May.  In March, DJ appearances are confirmed for the Winter Music Conference in Miami where he’ll headline Club Space and the Ultra Music Festival.  In May he’ll return again to appear at the PNE Coliseum in Vancouver, the Cow Palace in San Francisco and Rain in Las Vegas.  In June he’ll circle back to North America once again for a national tour in support of Volume, the details of which to be announced at a later time.

PAUL VAN DYK has sold over three million records to date and has collaborated with artists as diverse as David Byrne and Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls. He has been ranked within the top five slots on the DJ Magazine Top 100 Awards (the world’s leading chart) no less than seven times, hitting #1 DJ in the world spot in 2005 and 2006. VAN DYK also has his own radio show "Paul van Dyk's VONYC Sessions" which airs weekly on satellite, FM and web stations.

PAUL VAN DYK’s current U.S. tour dates are as follows:

DATE                           CITY                                        VENUE

Fri        3/27                 Miami, FL                                 Club Space

Sat       3/28                 Miami, FL                                 Ultra Music Festival

Fri        5/22                 Vancouver, BC                         PNE Coliseum

Sat       5/23                 San Francisco, CA                   Cow Palace

Sun      5/24                 Las Vegas, NV                         Rain