Recorded at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Austin, Texas. Includes liner notes by Larry Monroe.
Normal's fascinating Documentary is culled from six hours of interviews with Austin radio producer Larry Monroe, interspersing Van Zandt's personal reflections with unreleased performances of some of his greatest songs. Monroe's assertion that Van Zandt was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century may be a little bold, but he supports it well, recording the songs so that all the details and poetry come out strikingly bold and fresh. Particularly fascinating are Van Zandt's recollections of troubled times with Blaze Foley and the story behind "If I Needed You," which he claims came to him in a codeine-induced dream. Van Zandt personally selected and approved each track, giving this disc an authenticity that comes close to rendering it essential listening. ~ Jim Smith