Search - Townes Van Zandt :: High Low & In Between

High Low & In Between
Townes Van Zandt
High Low & In Between
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

UK reissue of original 1972 Poppy label album. Musicians include Larry Carlton & David Cohen (ex-Country Joe & The Fish). Includes detailed sleevenotes.


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CD Details

All Artists: Townes Van Zandt
Title: High Low & In Between
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Original Release Date: 1/1/1973
Re-Release Date: 10/4/1994
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Styles: Outlaw Country, Classic Country, Traditional Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 081227124328


Album Description
UK reissue of original 1972 Poppy label album. Musicians include Larry Carlton & David Cohen (ex-Country Joe & The Fish). Includes detailed sleevenotes.

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CD Reviews

Great introduction
Elliot Knapp | Seattle, Washington United States | 02/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not a big fan of compilations and "best of" CDs; like a lot of music fans I prefer to hear entire albums in their original context. That's why this economically-priced two-fer from Townes Van Zandt is such a good introduction--it includes two entire albums from one of his most productive periods, and offers a wide variety of his music to get you interested in exploring more. Between these two albums, you can see what a talented songwriter, understatedly excellent vocalist, and all-around worthwhile musical personality he was. Not only that, you'll have over an hour of great country-tinged folk to listen to.

The first album included is High, Low, and In Between. It's probably the lesser of the two choices, but still very worthwhile. Van Zandt is usually accompanied by some subtle acoustic guitar, often combined with some bass, or even bigger band arrangements. He certainly has a skill for melancholy--songs like "You are Not Needed Now" and the title track really get under your skin with simple melodies and some occasionally chilling lyrics. He does include a few upbeat numbers, though, like the great and humorous "No Deal," and the groovy "Standin.'" There are a few weaker tracks, most notably the gospel tunes "Two Hands" and "When He Offers His Hand;" they lack the personality that Van Zandt is so capable of injecting into a great song. Overall, though, there are some great highlights.

The second album is even better. The Late Great Townes Van Zandt opens with "No Lonesome Tune," a very homey, heartwarming tune combined with some really cool music--the heavy bass sounds great combined with the mandolin. The singer sounds totally at ease in the relaxed "German Mustard" blues, and rips out some of his most harrowing compositions, the mysterious "Ships of Andilar," and the oft-covered "Pancho and Lefty." On both discs, he shows great skill at storytelling, and it's too bad every other country singer had a hit with "Pancho and Lefty," but its own composer couldn't. This album really shows off his deft skill at mystery, since more often the music matches his deceptively dense words. Again, though, there are also fun moments like the cover, "Honky Tonkin.'" Also again, though, there are a few weaker moments--"Sad Cinderella" sounds like a textbook paraphrased rewrite of Dylan's "Queen Jane Approximately," and "Heavenly Houseboat Blues" isn't quite a compelling closer.

All in all, though, Townes Van Zandt has made some great music, and deserves to be much better known. This disc is a steal, containing two solid albums' worth of music, with some music that's good, and some that's GREAT. If you're unfamiliar with TVZ, I recommend that this is as good a place as any to get into some great music!"
High, low & in between quality
Mactavish | 09/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you're new to Townes I recommend "The Best of", which is 75% great. This collection is 50/50, though economically a good deal. The problem is that there are a several straight country songs, gospel tunes, and joke songs--that might have been cool in concert but don't rate repeated listening. When TVZ is at his best, like Dylan, Neil Young & Leonard Cohen, he defies categorization, and instead is simply one of the best songwriters you'll ever hear. Gems on the first album on this CD include "You Are Not Needed", a stunning song, "Greensboro Woman", "Highway Kind", & "To Live is to Fly" (a song you wish went on forever). Highlights of 2nd album include "Snow Don't Fall", "Poncho & Lefty" (his version being much better than Emmy-Lou or Willie's hit versions) & "Silver Ships of Andilar", a great sea-shanty that Gordon Lightfoot would have killed to write. I just wish TVZ had covered "Gates of Eden" & "Blind Willie McTell" by Dylan. They would have fit him like a glove... soaked in whisky."