When Woody Guthrie died in 1967, he left behind dozens of unpublished lyrics and poetry, which were later recorded as songs by Wilco, Billy Bragg, Jonatha Brooke, The Klezmatics, Wenzel, and for an upcoming Jay Farrar album featuring Jim James. Thirty years after Guthrie died we lost another songwriting legend, Townes Van Zandt, but he left some unfinished work behind as well.
“It was very mysterious and very sweet and very challenging,” says David Boza, an Israeli singer-songwriter who was left a shoe box of poems and lyrics by Van Zandt after his death (they met only 3 years prior). He adds, in an interview with Billboard, “I only hope I’ve done those lyrics justice, turning that poetry into song as Townes would’ve liked.”
Although Van Zandt specifically left his unpublished writings behind to Broza, Van Zandt’s widow Jeanene sought out (with Broza’s approval) a few more famous musicians to take on the task of morphing the words into song, including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings.
That never came to fruition, so Broza took on the project and is releasing his version of 12 pieces from the shoe box next February, entitled Night Dawn: The Unpublished Poetry of Townes Van Zandt. Check out the track list and a lot more info here.