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Two new albums were recently released, a tribute to Townes Van Zandt by Steve Earle and a new album from Yusuf the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens.

Steve Earle’s new album Townes a tribute to Townes Van Zandt covers both little and well known Townes Van Zandt songs.  It is interesting to see a singer songwriter do a tribute album.  For the most part Earle pulls this album off.  It is no secret that Earle admires the music of Zandt, he has been covering his songs for years and has even named his son in his honor.  Earle’s gravelly voice does not always do the songs justice, but there is enough good stuff here to satisfy most Earle fans.  Amazon is currently offering the album in download format for $2.99.  At that price the album only needs a couple of great songs to justify the price and it does that and more.  I recommend the album for all die hard Earle fans, others might want to shy away from this album.

Yusuf’s new album, Roadsinger is a return to the sound of early Cat Stevens…much more so than the previous album An Other Cup.  If you enjoy the pre-pop Cat then this album is for you…

The song To Be What You Must opens:

I have journeyed, endless miles
Seen many others, where I took rest a while
On this boat called “near and far”
To be what you must, you must give up what you are.

Classic Cat…highly recommended.

and, lest we forget, The Bottle Rockets new one should be out very soon.

Edit: The  Bottle Rockets new one won’t be out till August 11.

Edit 2: The Steve Earle album is actually way better than I thought earlier.  I wrote the above after listening to it twice…but a few more listens shows that it is quite excellent.  Like any Earle, it sounds best when turned up…

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