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Townes Van Zandt - Pancho and Lefty Vol. 2

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Album Review

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 re-recorded 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 the 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. [Originally released by Poppy Records in 1969, Townes Van Zandt was reissued by Tomato Records in 1989. It also appeared again in 2003 via the import label Snapper; this latest version wasn't noticeably different.]


Born: 07 March 1944 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Townes Van Zandt's music doesn't jump up and down, wear fancy clothes, or beat around the bush. Whether he was singing a quiet, introspective country-folk song or a driving, hungry blues, Van Zandt's lyrics and melodies were filled with the kind of haunting truth and beauty that you knew instinctively. His music came straight from his soul by way of a kind heart, an honest mind, and a keen ear for the gentle blend of words and melody. He could bring you down to a place so sad that you felt like you...
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