Skip to content

An Introduction to Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt Our Mother The Mountain

“There are only two kinds of songs; there’s the blues, and there’s zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” – Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt (1944-1997) was a Texan folk, blues, and country musician, most notable for his profound songs. His debut album, 1968’s For The Sake Of The Song, suffered from overbearing arrangements; even though Van Zandt’s a fine songwriter, his albums can feel indifferent as he was not enthused about the recording process. 1969’s Our Mother The Mountain is slathered with strings, but they help give the album a brooding atmosphere that matches Van Zandt’s tales of despair:

Van Zandt’s subsequent albums were better produced, focusing often on just Van Zandt and his guitar. His third, self-titled, album featured an acoustic version of one of his most iconic songs, ‘Waitin’ ‘Round To Die’, with its despairing worldview.

Van Zandt’s best songs were generally melancholic, although ‘Mr Mudd and Mr Gold’, a verbose parable of a poker game from 1971’s High, Low and In Between, was a notable exception.

Van Zandt’s most celebrated album is arguably 1977’s Live at the Old Quarter, which presents his most best known work with just Van Zandt’s voice and guitar. Here he performs his most well-known song, ‘Pancho and Lefty’.

After 1972’s The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt, Van Zandt didn’t return to the recording studio until 1978’s accomplished Flyin’ Shoes, which gave his songs a more commercial country sheen, with excellent songs like the title track:

For more detailed Townes Van Zandt analysis, please visit

8 thoughts on “An Introduction to Townes Van Zandt Leave a comment

  1. One of Country music’s great unsung heroes. I posted one of his songs a year or so ago, and it prompted my father to text me, demanding to know how he’d managed to escape his attention for so long. The man’s a genius (Townes, not my father).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TVZ is such a great artist! I’m currently (well for the last month or so) enjoying his third studio album and am getting started on his second album. Ponderous listening that’s for damn sure!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

PowerPop... An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

Soundtrack To My Year

Fandom Scrapbook

Official website for bassist Rock Rollain



My Vinyl Hunt

Vinyl Enthusiast from Suffolk

Mike and Paul's Music Blog

Two Guys In Search of Great Music

The Doesn't Suck

9,000 billion recordings are released on the internet each month. Roughly 5 of them will not suck.

Simone: By The River

Hey! I'm writing about travel, books, nature, music, art, food, gardening, things that inspire me, with a little bit of creative writing thrown in for good luck (if I'm feeling brave enough). Australian (Geelong, Victoria). Instagram: sima78 & trackrecordsrecords

Brendon's Beats

Album Reviews & Music Discussion

%d bloggers like this: