Neurot Recordings will release the Songs Of Townes Van Zandt Vol II tribute album stateside, in partnership with My Proud Mountain who is handling all international territories, March 7th, appropriately on the late, great artist’s birthday.
The second album in this homage series praising the works of the celebrated American country/folk singer-songwriter, Songs Of Townes Van Zandt Vol II bears nine new covers featuring proud contributions provided by a wide cast of musicians. The prime collaborators for the album are Mike Scheidt (YOB, VHÖL), John Baizley (Baroness) and Nate Hall (USX), with additional contributions from Katie Jones, Stevie Floyd (Dark Castle, Taurus) and Dorthia Cottrell (Windhand).
The opening track to Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol II, a solo rendition of “To Live Is To Fly” performed by Mike Scheidt, has today been made publicly available via mainstream music portal, Stereogum. Scheidt, whose main act, YOB, recently signed to Neurot Recordings, recalls where he first learned of Townes Van Zandt and became part of the man’s obsessive fanbase.
“I worked in a fantastic guitar shop called Mckenzie River Music in Eugene Oregon from 1996-2003,” Scheidt begins. “This dusty, cluttered guitar shop was no ordinary shop. We had the best of the best. Pre-World War II Martin and Gibson acoustic and electric guitars, vintage 50s/60s Fender guitars and amps, the most valuable and collectable gear you could buy, along with player’s priced quality gear. It was Dick Gunn, the shop’s senior salesman and RIPPING country picker, who first turned me on to Townes. It was a gift for Christmas, a CD with both High Low And In Between, and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. Upon first listen, I knew I was listening to something that wasn’t just great. It smacked of Truth, capital T. Whether that truth be tender and lighthearted, or take you to places so low that you could hardly pick yourself back up, it was so heavy. The way he combined language and guitar chords is one of a kind. Untouchable. Dick Gunn passed away in 2007, and I have yet to still reconcile his loss inside of myself. He taught me so much, gave me everything he had to teach as a player and a human. Listening to Townes functions on multiple levels for me. One of the most treasured experiences of listening to Townes is remembering my friend Dick Gunn, how we picked together, how we talked about Townes and knew that we knew that we knew he was THE BEST. Through and through.”