By Brian T. Atkinson
(March/April 2012/vol. 5 – Issue 2)
Townes Van Zandt wrote singular poetry (“Pancho and Lefty,” “If I Needed You”); Robert Earl Keen crafts seamless short stories (“The Road Goes on Forever,” “Gringo Honeymoon”); and Lyle Lovett frequently explores the landscape in between (“If I Had a Boat,” “L.A. County”). All three deep-browed troubadours entered the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association’s Hall of Fame during an awards ceremony held March 4 at Austin’s Moody Theater. Keen and Lovett played songs from their catalog at the event; enthusiastic disciple Steve Earle performed the late Van Zandt’s tunes.
“I’m proud to be a Texan and honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Keen said in a statement. “And to be included with Lyle, a friend since we were kids, makes it an even greater honor.” “Getting to stand on that stage and join such a great group of Texas songwriters and musicians is a real privilege,” said Lovett.
This was the TxHSA’s seventh annual Hall of Fame Awards Show. Previous inductees include Clint Black, Guy Clark, Larry Gatlin, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell, and Red Steagall, among others. “These individuals are vital to maintaining the rich Texas heritage that is respected and envied around the world,” said founder Terry Boothe.