CMT News

All-Star Townes Van Zandt Tribute Album To be Released
A tribute album to late Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt will be released Sept. 11 on Free Falls/Pedernales Records. Titled Poet: A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt, the 15-track compilation features A-team singer/songwriters Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark and others. "Like a lot of the great poets, I think Townes is someone people are going to discover and come to after his death," Free Falls President Bob Freese says. "And I think if you're going to remember Townes and do it right, you really do need to take it to the people who were most impacted by his music -- other songwriters and true artists." J.T. Van Zandt, his son, recorded "My Proud Mountains" for the project. Townes Van Zandt, known for his songs of yearning and loss, wrote "Pancho and Lefty," a No. 1 country hit for Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983. Delbert McClinton covers the song on the tribute album. Other artists on the collection include Nanci Griffith, The Cowboy Junkies, Ray Benson (of Asleep at the Wheel), The Flatlanders (featuring Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore), Robert Earl Keen and Pat Haney. Freddy Fletcher produced the set. A hard living troubadour, Van Zandt died Jan. 1, 1997, of a heart attack at age 52. 05/30/01