Monday, November 2, 2009

CD Odyssey Disc 49: Townes Van Zandt

Back to my own choosing again for this round of the CD Odyssey, and so I return to my new musical passion - Townes Van Zandt

Disc 49 is...Flyin' Shoes

Artist: Townes Van Zandt

Year of Release: 1978

How I Came To Know It: In my first review of Townes Van Zandt's work, I explained how I came to know him through Steve Earle's remakes album of his songs. I bought this album the same day I bought High Low and In Between.

How It Stacks Up: I still haven't heard all of Van Zandt's albums, because I've had a flurry of CD purchasing outstripping my ability to keep up with listening. I need a good session of painting to get there. For now, I'm going to say this album is not as good as High, Low and In Between - but it is still good.

Rating: 4 stars

I just can't get enough Townes Van Zandt right now. It is like finding the treasure of a lost civilization - in this case that lost civilization is the seventies.

This particular album is a fairly later one - Van Zandt's creative explosion is pretty much 1968-1972. After that he did 3 albums in the next 22 years, as he became progressively less able to function under the weight of addiction.

This album still showcases his considerable talent. As with every other album I have by him, songs from here have been remade quite freely by other artists that I greatly respect.

Lyle Lovett does "Loretta" on his new album, and "Flyin' Shoes" on his double album homage to Texas songwriters called "Step Inside This House". Steve Earle's remakes album covers both "No Place to Fall" as well as doing his own version of "Loretta". That means "Loretta" was remade by 2 artists in a single year (2009). That Loretta girl, gets around. Even I have given her a few spins.

Van Zandt's paints Loretta's portrait beautifully:

Loretta she's my barroom girl
Wears them sevens on her sleeves
Dances like a diamond shines
Tells me lies I love to believe
Her age is always 22
Her laughing eyes are hazel hue
Spends my money like water falls
Loves me like I want her to.

Lately, it is Van Zandt that has me spending my money like water falls, as I obsessively buy all his damned records. When will I stop? I don't know, but "Flyin' Shoes" only encourages me to keep going.

Best tracks: Loretta, No Place To Fall, Flyin' Shoes, When She Don't Need Me.

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