Tyin’ On My Flyin’ Shoes (Chris)
Today is a Townes day. The flat is rented, tickets bought. Soon I’ll be heading to Swampland in south Georgia (Gram Parsons Guitar Pull in September, anyone?), then later in the year it’s off to Australia for whatever rock and roll misadventure might present itself Down Under. There just remains the now customary and symbolic purchase of a new pair of Converse to mark the occasion. Time, then, to be tyin’ on my flyin’ shoes.
Music and travel are inextricably linked in my brain, and nothing captures the space in between – the inescapable urge to push on, musically and physically – than Townes Van Zandt’s Flyin’ Shoes. If you haven’t heard Lyle Lovett’s version of this song before, I recommend headphones, a quiet corner and an economy-size box of Kleenex as you do:
Being the discerning music lover that you are, I’m sure you and Townes are already well acquainted. But in the tragic and unlikely event you’ve never come across his music before, start with the stunning documentary Be Here To Love Me (which readers in America can watch on Hulu), then pop yourself out to a record store, buy some music and make up for lost time by not leaving the house for three weeks while you get to know each other.
Steve Earle once said that “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that”. Apart from the bit about cowboy boots, I couldn’t have put it better myself. So it’s a brave a rare talent that can pull off a cover which does justice to and – dare I say – improves upon the Townes original. Ignoring for a second our own forays into the TVZ oeuvre, I’ll say now that Lyle Lovett is probably the only one who can pull it off.
For more on our adventures in Americana, visit the Missing Parsons website.