Sunday, 20 April 2014

Retro Easter Sunday: 7

Townes Van Zandt: Our Mother the Mountain

I had to wait for Di to go to the gym before spinning this.
Most fans prefer his stark live recording 'Live at the Old Quarter'; find this album overproduced; hate the flutes. Even though Di murders it, I love the flute! I also love that live recording but it breaks my heart that no-one seems to be listening to him. Apparently, before hitting the stage he asked the barman for 'just on last hit'. The barman knew him well and lined up seven shots of bourbon. He downed them one by one within the minute and took to the stage...

"If I had a nickel I'd find a game, if I won a dollar I'd make it rain,
If it rained an ocean I'd drink it dry, and lay me down dissatisfied"

Townes wasn't a happy man, eventually the drink would lay him down forever. He left behind an uneven body of work and a reputation as a wasteful man with a wasted talent. But take the time and wallow with him, the flutes and strings recede and you are left with a man who sang just for the sake of the song. Listen to the sad poetry of 'Second Lover's Song'. Then, from 'Tecumseh', could you think of a lovelier line of love affirmed than "the sunshine walked beside her"?
Then watch the prophetic final clip of a song from his debut, 'Waitin' Round to Die' and see him reduce an old black geezer to tears…
Wasted and wounded indeed...

No comments:

Post a Comment