It’s a sad sad world when more people aren’t all over the music of a guy like Townes Van Zandt. He got a burst of posthumous publicity when Steve Earle’s Townes album came out a few years ago, but he’s still way below the radar for most listeners who haven’t been lucky enough to take the plunge. I stumbled on this video this morning that seamlessly blends his own “Colorado Girl” with Bob Dylan’s oft-covered (but rarely successfully) “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” from an old 1985 NPR broadcast. It’s such a stunning combination, you won’t be able to resist.
As a bonus, here’s another successful version of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” from the Handsome Family’s 2010 covers album Scattered. For those of you who haven’t heard the band, they’ve been recording since 1993, doing a pretty good job of picking up the mantle of guys like Van Zandt themselves. Here’s hoping 2011 will see a new album of originals from them!