[ Fat Possum / LP ]
Release Date: Friday 8 March 2019
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Sky Blue, a collection of unreleased songs by one of the most celebrated songwriters of the twentieth century, is a time capsule that Townes Van Zandt created forty-six years ago, and we're only now just unearthing and opening it to find the treasures inside.
These tracks will sound both fresh and familiar to even the most avid fans. Sky Blue includes eleven unreleased recordings made in early 1973 with the late Bill Hedgepeth, a journalist, musician, and most crucially a close friend of Townes. The singer-songwriter was splitting his time between Texas, Colorado, and a shack outside Franklin, Tennessee: an itinerant life that informed many of his most famous and beloved tunes. Throughout his life he would often return to Hedgepeth's home studio in Atlanta, later with family in tow, to record, re-work, and experiment with new songs as well as old favourites.
In addition to a handful of old favourites, Sky Blue also includes two new songs that have never been heard before, "All I Need" and "Sky Blue"-as well as covers of songs by Richard Dobson and Tom Paxton. There is a smoky version of "Blue Ridge Mountain Blues" and a scarred and scarring interpretation of "Hills of Roane County", an East Tennessee murder ballad from the 1880s that was popularized by Tony Rice. Van Zandt performs them deftly, sings them intuitively, and displays his delightfully twisted sense of humour on the devious "Snake Song" and the vicious "Dream Spider".
1. All I Need
2. Rex's Blues
3. Hills of Roane County
4. Sky Blue
5. Forever For Always For Certain
6. Blue Ridge Mountain Blues (Smoky Version)
7. Pancho and Lefty
8. Snake Song
9. Silver Ships of Andilar
10. Dream Spider
11. The Last Thing On My Mind