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Road Songs

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iTunes Review

Townes Van Zandt wrote at least two dozen classic country-folk songs that transcend genre and speak to the strongest emotions in all of us. But his songwriting muse was erratic; there were years when his pen was silent. He did, however, have a living interest in the songs of others, and he peppered his shows with covers of songs that struck him as emotionally true. His acoustic version of The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" sounds as if it'd been written exclusively for him. Throughout the album other musicians come and go, adding a spare harmony here and a fiddle there, but the centerpieces are always Van Zandt's wracked voice and his nimble fingerpicked guitar. Bruce Springsteen's "Racing in the Streets" has a narrative worthy of being compressed into three minutes. Van Zandt's hero bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins gets three tunes covered with "Hello Central," "My Starter Won't Start," and "Short-Haired Woman Blues." He's even better on the old country number "Fraulein," where a song from his childhood is treated to his lonesome cry.

Customer Reviews

super tunes

Great delivery and selection of tunes. It's somewhat ironic that the previous reviewer declares Townes the greatest songwriter of all time on an album that is a collection of cover tunes. Great album though.

Great Music

BiggTex, this is a COVER ALBUM! Townes did not write ANY OF THESE SONGS!

Also, "Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Robert Dylan" is a message that might not get to him, since his name is Robert Allen Zimmerman.

Dylan's interpretation

Bob Dylan has stated that Townes, along with Hank Williams, is one of the two greatest songwriters ever.


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...
Full Bio