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Steve Earle: Townes

Rob Hughes, Uncut, June 2009

All-covers homage to his mentor, Townes Van Zandt

Steve Earle's apprenticeship with Texan legend Townes Van Zandt was never remotely conventional. An inveterate boozer, Van Zandt once had Earle tie him to a tree in the addled notion that it might make him quit drinking. They first met in the early '70s, Townes heckling a 17-year-old Earle at a gig in Houston, after which the pair bonded over music, politics and a reckless determination to do things their own way. As Earle later noted: "He was a really good teacher and really bad role model."

Total word count of piece: 341

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