Editors: Karen Skloss; Michael Taylar; Don Howard.
Photographer: Frazer Bradshaw.
The soundtrack to director Margaret Brown's documentary on the life of Townes Van Zandt, BE HERE TO LOVE ME, features many of the finest recordings by the revered Texas singer/songwriter, who passed away in 1997. This two-disc collection draws primarily from Van Zandt's work on the Tomato label, and showcases his distinctively melancholy country/folk narratives--songs that were often utterly heartbreaking and compelling at the same time. Although this album isn't exactly a best-of compilation, it does include key tracks from Van Zandt's career, including his own version of the wistful "Pancho and Lefty," which became a big hit for Willie Nelson, and the fragile, unguarded "If I Needed You." Even tunes that initially sound upbeat, such as the title track, usually contain an undercurrent of sadness, a quality that makes Van Zandt's work all the more fascinating. Though THE BEST OF TOWNES VAN ZANDT remains the most ideal introduction to the artist, this set is perfect for those ready to venture a bit further into his impressive catalog.