I'll Be Here in the Morning

The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt
I'll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt. Texas A&M Univ. Feb. 2012. c.224p. photogs. index. discog. ISBN 9781603445269. $24.95. MUSIC
This examination of the songwriting influence of Townes Van Zandt (1944–97) on musicians of varying styles and different generations joins two recent biographies of the singer-songwriter (Robert Earl Hardy's A Deeper Blue and John Kruth To Live's To Fly). Journalist Atkinson interviews both contemporaries and younger devotees of Van Zandt's work—from Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Lyle Lovett to Adam Duritz and Josh Ritter—who discuss Van Zandt's songs, writing, and techniques and relate their own experiences with him and his music. Atkinson provides an introductory and contextual background piece for each interviewee before presenting the full text of the discussion, and this approach provides insight into many of today's most celebrated and revered singer-songwriters by way of their recollections and thoughts about Van Zandt.
VERDICT Fans of Van Zandt and followers of Americana music will appreciate the informative and analytical approach to both the songs of Van Zandt and the many artists represented here. Recommended for extensive popular music collections.
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