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Our Mother the Mountain

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iTunes Review

Townes Van Zandt’s second album is often regarded as his first masterpiece, though upon release in 1969 it hardly sold. The opener “Be Here To Love Me” (also the name of a 2004 documentary about Van Zandt) is a bittersweet love song that melds Tex-Mex tinged country-folk with a groovy flute and jangly tambourine — both of which sound endearingly indicative of the time. Tastefully arranged strings lead off “Kathleen,” recalling Gene Clark’s 1967 debut Echoes and giving this melancholy musing an eerie vibe as Van Zandt croons of joining a deceased lover. “She Came and She Touched Me” features a subtle harpsichord and Van Zandt trying his hand at psychedelically surreal lyrics that obviously owe a lot to Dylan’s early sideways wordsmithed songs. The title track is a slow waltz with haunting imagery about being hopelessly in love with one of his demons, but the album’s gem could be “Tecumseh Valley,” a gripping narrative about the desperation and tragedy of a coal miner’s daughter.

Customer Reviews


I have not been on Itunes if about 6 months. Main reason not much good music. Then I found this, been a fan a long time and sometimes it is real hard to find TVZ music so this is nice.

The greatest songwriter ever!

Great Album!

A Masterpiece

As a huge fan and collector of Townes' music, I find myself going back to this album time and time again. It is simply one of the most haunting listening experiences you can encounter in this genre. Put on a set of headphones, sit in a dark room, and listen intently to every song, every line of every song. "Kathleen" will put you into a place that is truly deep, troubling, mysterious and "Our Mother the Mountain" will take you into the next room of this place. "St. John the Gambler" then takes you to the basement.

I especially love "My Proud Mountains", one of the most beautifully forlorn pieces this side of The Clancy Brothers. Townes' masterpiece, "Tecumseh Valley", is here. "Why She's Acting this Way" and "She Came and She Touched Me" are mid-sixties, Dylanesque, surreal ballads much like "Farewell Angelina".

This is Townes' second album, after the over- produced debut "For the Sake of the Song". Some critics complain that this one is over-produced as well, but I really like the accompaniment and the sound. Yes, Townes on acoustic by himself is sublime and ridiculously good, but there is something to the production around St. John the Gambler" and songs on subsequent albums like "Rake" that really add to the atmospheric ambiance of the songs.

Anyway, this is a masterpiece by one of the great songwriting talents of the 20th century. Buy it!


Born: March 7, 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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