Caffe Lena Pays Tribute to Townes Van Zandt [No Depression]

Troubadour-about-town Michael Eck is hosting a tribute concert to the late, great Texas tunesmith Townes Van Zandt at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Saturday (March 4).

Titled “Rain on a Conga Drum: The Songs of Townes Van Zandt,” the concert will feature The Sea The Sea, Cloud Lifter, John & Orion Kribs and acclaimed multi-instrumentalist John Kruth performing Van Zandt’s classic songs from “Poncho & Lefty” to “If I Needed You” to “Tecumseh Valley” and beyond… Tickets are $20 in advance; $22 at the door.

But, hey, don’t forget that we’re giving away a pair of FREE tickets to the concert. GO HERE to enter…

Twenty years ago – almost to the day – Eck wrote about the impact and inspiration of Van Zandt’s music for No Depression:

There I was again on my hands and knees, the young record nut squirreling through cardboard boxes full of dusty vinyl at some suburban garage sale. I’d found a little goldmine with some Dylan I didn’t have, the first Ian & Sylvia album and some great obscure folk; Koerner, Ray & Glover and the like. And then Townes. I’d found a shard of the holy grail, although I didn’t know it at the time: For the Sake of the Song, the first one, Poppy Records, 1968.

I’d heard about the man, I’d heard Emmy and Willie sing his songs, but I had yet to hear him sing his own. And neither of the two I knew – “If I Needed You” and “Pancho and Lefty” – were there to open the door. It took me a while to get used to the voice. It was all corners and questions, leather and smoke, welcome but not warm. The words drew me in, though; the simple mountain melodies enchanted.

Iggy once said that hearing Lou Reed “sing” let him know he could do it too. I think I came to the same realization when I heard “Tecumseh Valley.” If you felt it that hard, you couldn’t stop it from coming out, pitch and preciousness be damned.

Once I knew the voice, I wore it like a hat, pulled it over me like a blanket, a coat from the cold.

GO HERE to read the rest at No Depression…

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