Townes Van Zandt – Rear View Mirror
Honestly, it’s an impossibly choice, but if I HAD to choose a favorite TVZ album, I think it might actually be this obscure little gem.
It was recorded live, with elegantly minimal and perfectly complementary accompaniment from fiddler Owen Cody and guitarist Danny Rowland, and it includes a significant selection of Townes’ greatest songs, but most importantly, the artist himself is seemingly at just a perfect point to be delivering this material.
No longer the hopelessly youthful and sweet-voiced innocent, not yet the shambolic, booze-thickened wreck of later years—no, what you ever here is simply maturity and mastery.
Virtually every song here is just bone-chillingly beautiful; it’s extraordinary that one man could contain such vast amounts of haunting beauty within him—sadly, he couldn’t, actually, and that’s understandable when you here things like “Our Mother The Mountain” as it appears on this album. It’s literally TOO beautiful. It hurts.