Donnerstag, 23. Juni 2022

Townes Van Zandt - At My Window (1987)

Townes Van Zandt died 24 years ago, on January 1, 1997.

"At My Window" is an album released by Folk/country singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt in 1987. This was Van Zandt's first studio album in the nine years that followed 1978's "Flyin' Shoes", and his only studio album recorded in the 1980s.

By the middle 1980s, with royalties coming in for "If I Needed You" (a No. 3 country hit for Emmylou Harris and Don Williams in 1981) and "Pancho and Lefty" (a No. 1 country smash for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983), Van Zandt was enjoying what was for him a stable home life for the first time with his third wife Jeanene and their new son Will. He also acquired a keen interest in boating.

Nine years after releasing his last album, Van Zandt returned to the studio with producer "Cowboy" Jack Clement, Jim Rooney and a group of top shelf musicians, including fiddle and mandolin player Mark O'Connor and Willie Nelson's harmonica player Mickey Raphael, who all complement Van Zandt's subtle, poetic songs. Clement later told Van Zandt's biographer John Kruth that he felt At My Window was the best Townes album that he was ever involved in but Van Zandt's guitarist Mickey White offers a different perspective, telling Kruth, "The album sounds a bit tentative in spots 'cause we didn't use headphones and missed some of the nuances goin' on. And by the time of At My Window, Townes's skills were not consistent...he didn't fingerpick as well as he used to. And he started getting a little lazy as a singer. As his voice matured, it got deeper and more resonant, but he tended to not sing with as much energy and lung power as he used to and started shaving off his notes and phrases more and more." White also adds that At My Window was mostly produced by Jim Rooney because "Jack was out of state, down in Florida."

Steve Earle once said "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." To make such a bold statement, Earle must have had some evidence to back him up. "At My Window" will suffice as some of that evidence, no doubt. Whether in sweetly tender ballads or honky cowboy ditties, Van Zandt truly wrote of heartache and heartbreak with the best of them. And though his voice lacks the warm honey feel of Lyle Lovett's, he has a down-home, melancholic charm all his own. You need not strain to hear the lonely in his voice. You can so easily picture him sitting by a fire out on a prairie somewhere serenading the full moon. For Van Zandt was of a different breed. In "Buckskin Stallion Blues" he sings "If three and four were seven only, where would that leave one and two?" That's a contemplation for the ages. More a kindred spirit to Hank Williams than Lovett, his life was in his songs. And the world is all the better for that.

Snowin' On Raton 3:52
Blue Wind Blew 2:37
At My Window 4:08
For The Sake Of The Song 4:24
Ain't Leavin' Your Love 2:33
Buckskin Stallion Blues 3:00
Little Soundance # 2 2:59
Still Lookin' For You 2:38
Gone, Gone Blues 2:43
(192 kbps, cover art included)

7 Kommentare:

Mike hat gesagt…

Happy New Year!
Very Nice album - thanks.
Mike M

zero hat gesagt…

Happy New Year and thanks for your comments!

Carlos hat gesagt…

Thank you, Genosse!

zero hat gesagt…

You are welcome, comrade!

Anonym hat gesagt…

Dear Sir, restore?

swappers hat gesagt…

Superb! Such a welcome re-boot of this classic. Van Zandt at his height and happiest I guess. Haunting stuff. Appreciated, Zero

zero hat gesagt…

Glad you like it. All the best!

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