Album: Steve Earle, Townes, (New West Records)

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The Independent Culture

It was a matter of time before Earle recorded a tribute album to his friend and mentor, the late Texan singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

And here it is, in all its heartfelt, often faithful, sometimes bluegrass, mostly blue glory. A Dust Brothers take on "Lungs" aside, this is Earle playing it straight to the man of whom, in 1995, he said "is the best songwriter in the world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in cowboy boots and say that". One only hopes Bob's not home.

Pick of the album: 'Mr Mudd and Mr Gold' is a duet with Earle's son, Justin Townes