The Sky To Talk About: Townes Van Zandt’s New Album of Lost Recordings

Photo by John Lomax III Whenever Townes Van Zandt traveled through the Atlanta area, he always stopped by the home of his old friend, journalist Bill Hedgepeth. At Hedgepeth’s home Van Zandt would record demos at his friend’s basement studio, showing his friend new songs he had been working on.  Sometime in the early ’70s — mostly likely 1972 — Van Zandt stopped by to play Hedgepeth a few new songs — “Pancho and Lefty,” “Rex’s Blues,” “Snake Song” — that he had recently written and was planning on including on his next album, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. Townes was in fine form that day, loose and congenial, yet focused and resolute, and he ended up recording a number of covers as well: “Last Thing On My Mind” by Tom Paxton and “Forever, For Always, For Certain” by Richard Dobson. At a certain point after Townes Van Zandt died in 1997, Hedgepeth handed over his treasure-trove of recordings to the Van Zandt family. Those early Late Great demos ended up sitting in a box in a closet of Townes’ son, JT, for many years until they were recently discovered by Townes’ wife Jeanene and his other son Will.…

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