By Greg Kot
Updated May 06, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Ted Barron

The late Texas troubadour Townes Van Zandt wrote dozens of brilliant songs, their acute imagery delivered in an arid twang. Earle, his foremost disciple, gives 15 favorites the kind of carefully considered settings they deserve, from the chamber-folk of ”Rake” to the eerie electro-rock of ”Lungs.” The songs of Townes are the real stars, evidence that Van Zandt deserves to be known for a lot more than writing leadoff track ”Pancho and Lefty” — which, by the way, is pretty great, too. A

Download This: Listen to the song Lungs on the artist?s MySpace page