For his newest album, Townes, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Steve Earle recorded a collection of his favorite Townes Van Zandt-penned songs. A longtime friend and inspiration to Earle until his death in 1997, Van Zandt had a lasting impact on the singer's life and career.
On this Mountain Stage performance, Earle combines his own storytelling in "Ft. Worth Blues" with Van Zandt's "Rex's Blues" before performing "Pancho and Lefty," a song popularized by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Earle says he's played that cover throughout his entire career.
"Some say, 'I used to like Steve Earle, but he got so political,' " Earle says while introducing his legendary "Copperhead Road." "Trust me, this is one of the most political songs I've ever written."