Steve Earle offered to "stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots" to declare him the world's greatest songwriter. In concert, Lucinda Williams often dedicates "2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten" to him. Artists, as diverse as Emmylou Harris and The Meat Puppets, have recorded his songs.
The late Townes Van Zandt was the kind of artist who is always more famous dead than alive. Born into wealth, Townes was an outsider from the get-go. Clinical depression steered the ragged course as did his appetite for drugs and alcohol. Determined to be a success, Townes eventually had a hit.
The royalty checks were welcome, but this mainstream cameo seems to have been awkward for him, and there's tangible discomfort and detachment from it all.