On his third album, Townes Van Zandt recut three crucial tracks from his debut album, "For The Sake Of The Song," "Waiting Around To Die," and "I'll Be Here In The Morning." It was some indication of the obscurity in which he remained enveloped, but no indication of the quality of his work. (Actually, Van Zandt rerecorded songs from his first album on his later ones because he disliked the earlier recordings.) As usual, his closely observed lyrics touched on desperate themes, notably in tbe mining ballad "Lungs," but they were still highly poetic, especially the album-closing "None But The Rain," which reflected on a failed relationship. Van Zandt's finger-picking was augmented by spare arrangements, usually featuring one added instrument for color, such as a fiddle or flute.
Townes Van Zandt was a one-of-a-kind artist who blazed a new trail for singer/songwriters, conjuring a sound that combined elements of country and folk with his own artful melodic sensibility, matched with lyrics that were personal, poetic, and impressionistic while remaining firmly down to earth. A new breed of Texas singer/songwriters followed Van Zandt's example, and it's all but impossible to imagine artists like Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, or Steve Earle finding their voice without his guiding influence. This two-disc set features Van Zandt's first two albums, 1968's For the Sake of the Song and 1969's Our Mother the Mountain.
Texas Troubadour is a four-disc box set that packages the late songwriter Townes Van Zandt's first seven studio albums for the Poppy and Tomato labels: For the Sake of the Song (1968); Our Mother the Mountain (1969); Townes Van Zandt (1970); Delta Momma Blues (1971); High, Low and In Between (1972); The Late Great Townes Van Zandt (1972), and Flyin' Shoes (1978). In addition, there are four studio outtakes from 1972-73 and a decent portion of Live at the Old Quarter, Houston issued in 1973. Charly reproduces the original cover art in miniature, two covers to each CD. Sound is the same as on the original CD issues, so fans who already own these albums will not be served by purchasing them again in this format. Musically, the work is superb, and since many of Van Zandt's recordings are out of print, this is a fine argument for getting them altogether. Another plus is Adam Komorowski's extensive biographical essay included in the 36-page color booklet that's loaded with photos.
Widely considered one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, Townes Van Zandt has been hailed by such singers as Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. Fat Possum is proud to reissue four titles from his early career - "Townes Van Zandt," "Our Mother the Mountain," "Delta Momma Blues," and "Flyin' Shoes" - that comprise an essential introduction to his best songs. Recorded between 1969 and 1978, Van Zandt's most prolific (and most critically acclaimed) decade, these four titles are the heart of any serious consideration of Van Zandt's career. Featuring some of the most iconic cover art in album history (designed by Milton Glaser), each is a classic in every sense of the word. The four titles are the first in a series of Townes Van Zandt reissues that Fat Possum is undertaking in conjunction with the Van Zandt estate.