Delta Momma Blues

(1971, 7/10)
Like Townes Van Zandt, Delta Momma Blues is an acoustic record that showcases Van Zandt’s strengths. When the sweeping strings arrive on ‘Rake’, it’s a reminder of the inappropriate arrangements on his debut, but most of the arrangements are low key and sparse. Delta Momma Blues, however, has a less remarkable set of songs than some of his other albums from the era, as it’s filled out with blues like ‘Turnstyled, Junkpiled’ and the title track. While Van Zandt is good with blues progressions, it feels like selling his songwriting talent short to lean on them too heavily. The stronger songs are the low key pieces like ‘Only Him Or Me’, ‘Nothin” and ‘Only Him Or Me’, but the classic is the gently finger-picked ‘Tower Song’, an elegy for a relationship with the memorable line “The end is coming soon, it’s plain/A warm bed just ain’t worth the pain.” There’s uninspired writing in places, but Delta Momma Blues is still an enjoyable album from Townes Van Zandt’s peak period.

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