[mp3] Steve Earle - "To Live Is To Fly"

As an (occasionally) over-zealous music blogger I feel like there are certain words and phrases that come up in my writing with a great deal of frequency. No, I’ve never used “incendiary” to describe someone’s guitar playing, but I am certainly guilty of using musical descriptors taken from a very shallow, repetitive pool of options. The most glaring offense is most likely saying something is “one of my favorites” - an expression that, if used too often, will undoubtedly have a dulled impact on my regular readers. However, when I say Townes Van Zandt’s dusty (case in point) folk gem “To Live Is To Fly” is one of my favorite songs, please take me at my word. As far as timeless, distinctly American sounding recordings go, “To Live Is To Fly” stands next to anything written by the likes of Dylan, Cash, Parsons, Springsteen, or The Band. And if you ask Steve Earle, another of America’s finest songwriters of the past 2 and a half decades, I’m sure he’d agree:

Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” - Steve Earle

Well, there you go. The late Van Zandt was a mentor and friend to Earle as a young songwriter learning the ropes, and later became the middle namesake of Earle’s son Justin, himself a fine singer-songwriter. After years of championing the Van Zandt’s music, Earle finally set about recording a whole album’s worth of his songs. Townes will be released by New West Records on May 12, and “To Live Is To Fly” has been designated as a free and legal download from the album. Earle’s grizzled vocals stand in contrast to the younger Van Zandt’s softer performance, but regardless, it’s a heartfelt version of a great, great song from a man paying sincere tribute to his songwriting hero.

MP3 :: To Live Is To Fly (via Muzzle of Bees)
(from Townes. Pre-order here)

And here’s the best I could do as far as a video performance of the song by Van Zandt - it’s a live recording without any actual video footage. But you get the idea:


No comments: