A little travelin’ music from down Texas way

We went to see Jeff Bridges in the movie “Crazy Heart” a few weeks ago, and it was excellent. And all the time I was watching it, I was thinking of the late Townes Van Zandt. The Bridges’ character, known as Bad Blake, had a lot of Townes in him, as did his music.

But of course, since this was Hollywood, Bad Blake by the end became Good Blake and survived his sins and excesses. Townes did not.

The truth is, Townes was a great picker and songwriter but not that great a singer. At best he could often make a virtue of his limitations. So here’s an interesting version of his most famous song, performed by a couple of other pickers who also reap virtue from their limitations.

788 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

March 26th, 2010
4:08 pm

Bosch

March 26th, 2010
4:16 pm

EXCELLENT – two of my favorites of all time even.

Old Shoes

March 26th, 2010
4:21 pm

Brings a tear to my crusty eye-lids…

Scout

March 26th, 2010
4:21 pm

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:25 pm

I love that song. What imagery. “Wear his skin as hard as iron” and “breath as hard as kerosene.”

Okay, I love it when Willie sings it.

Scout

March 26th, 2010
4:26 pm

Great scene and “Kocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan” towards the end !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MgubwywhiU

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:27 pm

Okay, all you Libs been giving Texas a ration of you know what for the last couple of weeks, you do know Willie’s in the new curriculum, don’t you? ZZ Top, too.

thbpptttt

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
4:30 pm

A couple of great Texas and a place to start…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvZeYDBY4fw

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:33 pm

Hey, josef nix -

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
4:34 pm

PAUL

If this one’s not in the textbooks, yank ‘em off the shelf..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56tsL_HJwaM&feature=related

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

March 26th, 2010
4:36 pm

Why bother posting any comments of substance if Bookman is just going to erase the whole blog if he don’t like them?

From now on, I’m just going to natter like everyone else, just sayin…

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:36 pm

josef nix

I can remember as a kid walking into my dad’s office and seeing a Janis Joplin tape. I said “you?!!?” and he said “yup.”

Saw dad in a new light that day -

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:37 pm

One of the leaders on American Idol is like a shy, country Janis Joplin. I hope she wins it -

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
4:38 pm

Bosch

March 26th, 2010
4:38 pm

Paul,

I love it when Willie sings too – reminds me of my dad. My dad has always had a really bad stutter – never talks much because of it – but when Willie’s on, my dad will actually start singing!

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:39 pm

Report/Whine

It was an accident. Jay likes Cheesy Shrimp Grits.

Welcome to the club.

Jay

March 26th, 2010
4:39 pm

Yeah Paul, but they probably described Willie as the famous Texas tax protester who heroically took on the IRS but lost, the modern day equivalent to William B. Travis.

Bosch

March 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

Paul,

Oh, speaking of TV shows, I saw last night that you asked if I was around, and I wasn’t, until later after that, but I was watching a funny show called “The Marriage Ref” – you seen that? It’s one of those shows that make you think, “these people can not be for real.”

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

Paul, that little band from Texas, ZZ Top?

In my mind, the best song they ever did that no one knows about…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b15q1L0bmNk

Bosch

March 26th, 2010
4:41 pm

Jay,

What happened with the blog? I’ve seen Andy and @@ gripe about it. I have no idea what they are talking about.

jefferson

March 26th, 2010
4:42 pm

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:43 pm

Jay

Actually, he’s listed in the index under “Weedman.” The version you cited was put forth by Yankee transplants out to corrupt true Texas culture.

Another bourbon tasting tonight. Woodford Reserve, again. Was a low turnout, spring break, so they’re doing it again. Hmmm, whatever shall I do tonight?

Bosch

March 26th, 2010
4:43 pm

Paul

March 26th, 2010
4:45 pm

Bosch

Ever since I first met him decades ago, my brother in law (fifth generation Texan) has looked like he could step up on stage with ZZ Top, put on a pair of shades and he’d fit right in.

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
4:45 pm

“…now make it mellow…you can do it now….”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqSqIUkJIeM&feature=related

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
4:45 pm

I only discovered this Texan and his music about 10 years ago and flat out fell in love with it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxzxH6wIPCY&feature=related

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2010
4:46 pm

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
4:48 pm

and Texarkana’s gift to American music…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc

Normal

March 26th, 2010
4:49 pm

Jay

March 26th, 2010
4:49 pm

You’re a smart man, Paul, I know you’ll make the right decision.

As to ZZ, I’m a great fan. And I have to say that, having been to a couple of ZZ concerts, they draw large numbers of incredibly attractive members of the opposite sex.

And that’s all I am going to say about that.

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
4:51 pm

jefferson, niiice.

And an Arkie is as close as an Okie…

Here with Billy Price.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHuKxtOmtLA&feature=fvw

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
4:56 pm

Bosch, I absolutely loved (and own) ZZ Top’s first three LPs. And notwithstanding that their later efforts were IMHO pretty cheesy and rather “sell out”, they did as the sage JB notes really bring in the chiquitas. Their shows were always a blast.

Another monster Texas talent and my idea of a Texas love song…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWGBB68uEIg

Brad Steel

March 26th, 2010
4:56 pm

texas stuff from this century. more relevant and interesting than your dad’s LPs – at least most of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_9aTfGgF0c

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
4:57 pm

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:04 pm

I don’t think Jay would “moderate” them…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hntXAO_Rq7c

Brakeman

March 26th, 2010
5:06 pm

Paul

March 26th, 2010
5:07 pm

Not Texas, but good anyhow. First line reminds me of Jay at his ZZ Top concerts… AmVet, too -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScG0ilS0dgI

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 26th, 2010
5:08 pm

I was thinking William Travis died at the Alamo; Willie Nelson survived the IRS, so far anyway.

This guy isn’t from Texas but Willis Alan Ramsey who wrote the song was raised in Texas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6xYUC4eZ08

@@

March 26th, 2010
5:08 pm

I love that song. Willie and Bobby sound good together….wonder why?

When I lived in Vacaville we would celebrate our annual Fiesta Days. All of the parade participants would gather on the schoolyard behind my house, separated only by a cyclone fence. Poncho Villa (not the real one) was always the star of the parade…sitting atop a big white stallion. Both the horse and the rider were fully decked out in silver conchos.

I lived for Fiesta Days. We all dressed for school in traditional Spanish costume. Me with my black lace mantilla, complete with comb….black peasant top with long skirt. Probably looked like a floozy but it were fun.

Poncho hoisted me up on that big white stallion once. That’s the day I fell in love with horses.

They still celebrate Fiesta Days there. I wonder if they still use the schoolyard.

There’s a joke about a guy who was mistaken for Poncho Villa. Too long to tell, ends like this:

“And as Poncho Villa approached, he slowed his big, white horse, and he looked at me, and he smiled, and all de gold in his teeth did sparkle like de sunlight. Then he pulled his big, heavy gun, and he pointed eet at me, and he said ‘you… pull down you pants!’ What could I do, he had a gun. So I pulled down my pants. Then he looked at me and smiled, ‘now, take a sheet’.. ayeee, I had no choice, he had a gun. Then he wave that pistol at me and he say, ‘Now eat et!’ but for that gun, cavrone!, so I ate eet.”

“And Poncho Villa, he laugh so hard, he fall off that big, white horse, and he drop that big gun, and I pick eet up, and I point eet at him. And he quits laughing. Den I say to Poncho Villa, drop you pants! what could he do, I had de gun. Now I says to him, take a sheet, he no smile now. and I wave that big gun at heem and I says, now eat et!” “And you ask me if I know Poncho Villa! Hell, yes I know Poncho Villa! I had lunch with heem today!”

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:08 pm

Lettuce not forget our Texan girls

March 26th, 2010
5:09 pm

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
5:14 pm

Brakeman, that classic “slightly” updated.

BTW, I was there that day and these guys just annihilated the place…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY63KTMrkTM

@@

March 26th, 2010
5:14 pm

Hey Andy!

From now on, I’m just going to natter like everyone else, just sayin…

I’ll be happy to join you. You and I can talk about other bloggers like a coupl’a schoolgirls.

Tee hee hee and all that…

It’ll be fun. NOT!

Paul

March 26th, 2010
5:15 pm

@@

So.. did you wear black stilettos with that?

I’m going to think of that story at the bourbon tasting and start laughing all over again.

josef nix

Then I’m going to think of those pictures from your 5:06 and sober up real quick -

The Cyberbully Lisperer

March 26th, 2010
5:17 pm

Great thong!

Wait a minute. Bookman is not married!!!!! ??????

That’s would tend to explain alot. Just thayin’

@@

March 26th, 2010
5:17 pm

No Paul! I was barefoot.

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 26th, 2010
5:18 pm

Texas singer-songwriter Bruce Robison sing about his brother Charlie and himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb9742q26fY

Brakeman

March 26th, 2010
5:18 pm

AmVet:

My first cousin had a “warm-up” band and traveled with them. He is listed on some of their albums as the “keyboardist” (for their studio recordings). His name was Randall (Randy) Cutlip. He could tell some tales ……….. died about 15 years ago.

The Cyberbully Lisperer

March 26th, 2010
5:20 pm

Bob Dylan = Obama. He was popular till he tried to go electric and revolutionize his act. They cheered him.

Then they boo’d him.

Now nobody really care. Bob Dylan? Why not. John Lennon is dead.

Paul

March 26th, 2010
5:22 pm

AmVet 5:14

Izzat you at 1:03?

Ummm…. you were workin’ on an air guitar…. right?

Kamchak

March 26th, 2010
5:27 pm

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
5:27 pm

Brakeman, VERY cool.

The first time I saw them, they opened for Chicago(???) in Tampa in 1974.

I already owned that insanely awesome debut record but a lot of people still didn’t really know them yet.

I told a bunch of people just before the show started, wait until you hear these guys, you are flat gonna forget about Chicago…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqp1U6RoQaw

More Texas sweetness…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veyPHzxNjog

@@

March 26th, 2010
5:28 pm

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:31 pm

AH! Texas– a whole ‘nuther country and glories in its paradox… here’s the song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpHiURKkY0Q

and here’s her story…

http://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/WW/fwe41.html

RW-(the original)

March 26th, 2010
5:32 pm

And I have to say that, having been to a couple of ZZ concerts, they draw large numbers of incredibly attractive members of the opposite sex.

I can’t really think of any rock concert I’ve been to where you couldn’t insert the band name in place of ZZ Top and still have that be a true statement.

Brad Steel

March 26th, 2010
5:35 pm

thoughts these guys were from texas. they sound very texas-y. but they’re not. there from (gulp) miami!

never judge a hook by the covers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M81ph3BslqQ

@@

March 26th, 2010
5:36 pm

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
5:36 pm

LOL Paul.

That day was nuts. I had been on “holiday” for two weeks. Traveled and camped throughout Scotland, visited my grandmother in Worcester (and could write a book on what happened there) and this show was the culmination of that fortnight.

It was an all day concert, six bands, with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and Skynyrd blowing the doors off the joint. It was headlined by the Rolling Stones but they were so strung out (I presume), they just phoned in the show and were nearly universally derided for sucking in the 70s.

But with over 100,000 new friends and lots of hash, who cared…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsIqEq9OFxE

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:38 pm

Curious Observer

March 26th, 2010
5:40 pm

But wouldn’t the Texas School Board ban Willie for the same reason they banned any textbook coverage of Cesar Chavez: he’s a bad influence?

Mick

March 26th, 2010
5:40 pm

Gotta go but here is my texas contribution…catch up later
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaX7Y1GQl5w

pat

March 26th, 2010
5:40 pm

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:41 pm

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
5:42 pm

Brad, yeah you are damn straight about that.

Whoever would have thought these guys were from San Antonio…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XboE3_7KZ3Y

Mick

March 26th, 2010
5:43 pm

Brad Steel

Before I go – the bass player down the street from me ended up in the mavericks – bobby reynolds – married trisha yearwood then divorced. He disconnected from all his old friends..later

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
5:44 pm

El Paso boys…

And after all these years, it still kicks a__

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0sI6eFarFE

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:44 pm

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
5:48 pm

Here’s one you might remember…more Texan miscegenation for ya!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn3JB51NH_M

Normal

March 26th, 2010
5:48 pm

It ain’t texas, but it begins with a T..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egvraT1oBH0

Normal

March 26th, 2010
5:50 pm

Brakeman

March 26th, 2010
5:51 pm

Amvet:

Yep. My cousin also “opened” for Chicago and Three Dog Night. Just never made it big. Got to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right song.

DD

March 26th, 2010
5:53 pm

Lettuce not forget our Texan girls

March 26th, 2010
5:54 pm

FinnMcCool

March 26th, 2010
5:54 pm

Ah, did Jay give away the movie? Ha

Here’s my favo-rite Texan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZoX6Q0UK8A

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:00 pm

and for those who don’t want health care ’cause “I hear tell, you’re doing well…” from a great Texan social commentator…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWlRXA293iE

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:02 pm

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
6:05 pm

Finn and others, it is damn near impossible not to jump on that SRV bandwagon tonight.

Only 5 studio albums, but wow…enough great music to last a lifetime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljVVFKjN0Dc

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

March 26th, 2010
6:07 pm

RW- Maybe ZZ is the only concert Bookman has ever been to?

Oh great, now the blog is going to get erased.

Jay

March 26th, 2010
6:10 pm

31 years of wedded bliss and countin’, Lisperer. Still….

And Josef, Kinky is a Texas original. Paul, do you think they’ll give him a state funeral when he dies, lay him out at the Capitol rotunda, etc.?

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 26th, 2010
6:13 pm

Josef @ 5:48

One of the best story songs every written there. It’s a virtual movie in song. And for the guitar buffs, Grady Martin played lead on that (Also on Oh Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison) and he put over 40 different lead runs in El Paso.

This is especially for Brakeman and Josef

http://www.ajc.com/news/declare-confederate-southern-american-405738.html

And this is for all my fellow Baptists who’ve ever been to an all day preachin’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-42NzUuUlLY

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
6:13 pm

josef, I always thought that record was overall kinda sappy, and I was at a place in my life then (when it came out in 89), where I was NOT into sappiness.

But damn, I just loved it anyway.

That’s one of the wonderful things about music; it can make you wonder what the hell is going on in your head. And heart.

Co-written by the fab JD Souther and Tom Petty’s axeman extraordinaire, Mike Campbell…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZqraesi9Lg

RW-(the original)

March 26th, 2010
6:13 pm

Andy,

He won’t erase it until we get about 900 comments in.

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:16 pm

and for us angst-riddled baby boomers…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIUPCfIihQ4

FinnMcCool

March 26th, 2010
6:16 pm

AmVet, this entire concert from Germany is available on Charter On Demand on the Concert TV channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAG-kX_IlUw&feature=PlayList&p=5E032766C5131A51&index=0&playnext=1

Amazing what he could do even while all strung out.

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:17 pm

Normal

March 26th, 2010
6:17 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 26th, 2010
6:19 pm

This is another version of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. Repoertedly this is the way the soldiers of the Army of Tennessee sang it after the Battle of Nashville.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoPQqPJ7fbQ

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
6:22 pm

Duane and the boys cover one of the greatest classics ever written. Courtesy of Texan T-Bone Walker…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gDhR1R3S0s

Normal

March 26th, 2010
6:23 pm

Since Davy died in Texas and Fess passed on a couple of days ago (imagine Fess and Davy talking in Paradise)I thought this would pass a good Texas song…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kweL_RUXXU4&feature=related

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:24 pm

Hillbilly

@ 6:13

Ach! And in the AJC no less…were Sister Cinthia and others off that day?

AmVet—
I thought it was kinda sappy, too, until I really listened to it and watched the video more closely…I had to really stop and think…

FinnMcCool

March 26th, 2010
6:25 pm

Normal

March 26th, 2010
6:29 pm

Hillbilly and Josef,

This is for the good ol’ southern boy census …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa8GIVblH_I&feature=related

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
6:30 pm

Paul

March 26th, 2010
6:30 pm

Jay

[[do you think they’ll give him (Kinky Friedman) a state funeral when he dies, lay him out at the Capitol rotunda, etc.?]]

If we can keep Bill White (or one like him) in office long enough we will.

FinnMcCool

March 26th, 2010
6:32 pm

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:34 pm

normal
@ 6:17

Probably one of my top ten favorite “Southern” songs…

Hillbilly–
Thanks for the Axton…I like that version a lot…

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:35 pm

Hillbilly
From another Texan master to you…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3N_ZSfXQes

josef nix

March 26th, 2010
6:39 pm

Finn @ 6:25

Great pick! The Romany lady says no curses for you… and BRUNO when you check in, check it out…

AmVet

March 26th, 2010
6:41 pm

My dad (from Bogalusa, Louisiana) loved “Ernie”. I remember sitting around the “stereo” as a boy listening to his Songs of the Civil War LP.

For you southern gentlemen…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS7Y4XszJyg

Normal

March 26th, 2010
6:42 pm