Townes Van Zandt High, Low and In Between
- Released: July 8, 2013
- Originally Released: 2013
- Label: Omnivore Recordings
- 1.Two Hands
- 2.You Are Not Needed Now
- 3.Greensboro Woman
- 4.Highway Kind
- 6.No Deal
- 7.To Live Is To Fly
- 8.When He Offers His Hand
- 9.Mr. Mudd And Mr. Gold
- 10.Blue Ridge Mountains
- 11.High, Low And In Between
Personnel: Townes Van Zandt (guitar); David Cohen, Donnie Owens, Larry Carlton (guitar); Don Randi (piano, organ, finger cymbals); John Sumner (drums).
Liner Note Author: Colin Escott.
Recording information: Larrabee Sound Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Arranger: Don Randi.
It is a testament to his prolific songwriting gift that yhe young Van Zandt released HIGH, LOW AND IN BETWEEN and its equally impressive predecessor DELTA MOMMA BLUES in the same year (1971). After the bleak visions of the latter, it seems as if the artist tried to chase away the dark vibes with this album, undoubtedly the most uplifting and (relatively) celebratory of his early career. There's a positively spiritual feel throughout, from the straight-up, choir-assisted gospel of the opener, "Two Hands," to "To Live Is to Fly," one of Van Zandt's best-loved and most inspiring tunes.
This was also the album where Van Zandt finally found a happy medium between sparseness and overproduction, with arrangements that reinforce the tune instead of smothering it. Accordingly, Van Zandt's song structures are at their most progressive here, moving away from folk/country tradition to more harmonically adventurous realms (the piano-led ballad "You are Not Needed Now" and the aforementioned "To Live Is to Fly"). The dry humor that was a staple of the artist's live show is displayed here in the talking-blues "No Deal." Even the darker tunes are narrative instead of nakedly confessional (the poetic, minor-mode gamblers' ballad "Mr. Gold and Mr. Mud"). This is one of a handful of Van Zandt's recordings essential to any country, folk, or rock collection.
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