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A Far Cry from Dead

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Album Review

Called the greatest songwriter ever by Nashville rebel Steve Earle, A Far Cry from Dead is a collection of the sharp, insightful writing that led Earle to make such a bold claim about Townes Van Zandt. Included are the songs that became hits for others, such as "Pancho & Lefty" (which Willie Nelson made into a 1983 hit), as well as the material that made Van Zandt a revered songwriter and performer in his own right. More than anything, though, the album showcases just how honest and revealing Van Zandt's words are. The blunt reality of the aborted relationships in "Many a Fine Lady," for example, and the exalted freedom of "To Live's to Fly" do more to broadcast his mastery than the magazine covers he always seemed to be overlooked for.


Born: 07 March 1944 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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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A Far Cry from Dead, Townes Van Zandt
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