A new book called A Deeper Blue: The Life and Music of Townes van Zandt by Robert Earl Hardy was released this month. And, according to the inside cover, it’s "the first serious biography of a man widely considered one of Texas'--and America's--greatest songwriters." How serious is it? Well, Hardy spent eight years researching Van Zandt and interviewing his friends, family and colleagues.
I haven't read the book--yet, at least; sorry, I'm reading like five others at the moment--but apparently Kinky Friedman and Joe Ely both have. They contribute to the book jacket's praise: Friedman calls it a "must-read"; Ely calls it "fascinating." I don't doubt their words, but the run-on, 98-word first sentence in the book gives me a little pause…
Whatever, I’m sure Van Zandt fans will eat this book up as it at least looks like a pretty complete biography. If that sounds like you, well, you can get your copy here.
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What’s more interesting about this book--to me, at least--is another note hidden in the book jacket. Apparently, this is just the first book UNT Press is planning to publish in its “North Texas Lives of Musicians Series.” Makes you wonder who’s getting written up next—and maybe, more importantly, who’s gonna be writing it. If it’s Hardy are we gonna be waiting another eight years? -- Pete Freedman