A Deeper Blue
The Life and Music of Townes Van Zandt
Performing Arts
6 x 9, 320 pp.
20 b&w illus.
Pub Date: 11/15/2009
North Texas Lives of Musician Series
  paper
Price:        $14.95

978-1-57441-285-7

Published by University of North Texas Press

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A Deeper Blue

The Life and Music of Townes Van Zandt

Robert Earl Hardy

 This is the first serious biography of a man widely considered one of Texas’—and America’s—greatest songwriters. Like Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt was the embodiment of that mythic American figure, the troubled troubadour. A Deeper Blue traces Van Zandt’s background as the scion of a prominent Texas family; his troubled early years and his transformation from promising pre-law student to wandering folk singer; his life on the road and the demons that pursued and were pursued by him; the women who loved and inspired him; and the brilliance and enduring beauty of his songs, which are explored in depth.
 
The author draws on eight years’ extensive research and interviews with Townes’ family and closest friends and colleagues. He looks beyond the legend and paints a colorful portrait of a complex man who embraced the darkness of demons and myth as well as the light of deep compassion and humanity, all “for the sake of the song.”

ROBERT EARL HARDY has been a professional writer for twenty-five years, with articles on twentieth century American music and the arts published in newspapers, journals, and magazines, most recently in The Oxford American. Also a musician, since the 1970s, Mr. Hardy has played guitar in rock & roll, rhythm & blues, and honky-tonk bands in the Washington, DC, area. He lives in Laurel, Maryland.

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