I can't wait til New Music Tuesday to tell you about this week's most exciting album arriving May 12 at a record store near you. Steve Earle's Townes, a tribute to his "tor-mentor" is a bit of heaven and hell in 15 tracks capturing just a sliver of Townes Van Zandt's prolific and unfortunately largely unknown career. Those familiar with Van Zandt consider him on of the world's greatest songwriters, though Earle recently recanted his claim that Van Zandt completely trumped Dylan. Whatever your opinion of his skills, Van Zandt boasts a pretty impressive list of admirers including Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Devendra Banhart and Steve Shelley who worked with Van Zandt in his final hours, cutting short recording sessions before the tragic figure died on New Year's Day 1997 at a young, ragged 52. Townes is Earle's way of maintaining Van Zandt's legacy - putting extra fire behind a voice that saved a whole lot of lives.