Our Mother The Mountain

Our Mother The Mountain

by Townes Van Zandt


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Tomato Records tapped Jack Clement to produce this set, but the results of his work are mixed. The best tracks here are the ones in which Clement showed a bit of restraint, while others feature strings, flutes, harpsichords, and other touches that might have been trippy ideas at the time, but sounded embarrassingly dated even a few years later. "Be Here to Love Me" is a Tex-Mex flavored country tune, and the title song to the 2004 biopic about Van Zandt. It's a good, not great love song, with Van Zandt's vocals mixed way out front. An overloud tambourine and the jazzy flute that meanders through the arrangement add nothing to the tune's charm. The harpsichord on "She Came and Touched Me" is mixed down far enough to be ignored, and while Van Zandt's vocals are strong, the Dylan-esque lyric is crammed with too much surrealistic imagery. The song lacks the restraint of his more mature work. "Second Lover's Song," is a great tune addressing the uselessness of jealousy and the saving grace of fidelity with a strong lyric and heartfelt vocal, but that pesky flute returns with a string section in tow, clashing with the tunes simple sentiment. "St. John the Gambler" is the kind of hopeless, poetic love ballad Van Zandt does so well, with an aching melody that would have sounded better without the sappy strings. The best tracks are bunched up at the end of the album and only add minimal touches to Van Zandt's moaning delivery and sparse picking. "Tecumseh Valley," is the sad tale of a gal rambling around looking for love who finally turns to prostitution to make ends meet. "Snake Mountain Blues" is a traditional meditation on the duplicity of women and the dangers of the wild side of life driven by some tasty acoustic guitar work full of bent blue notes and flurries of arpeggios. "My Proud Mountains" is marked by Van Zandt's moaning delivery and sparse picking accompanied only by an understated second guitarist providing bluesy fills. "Why She's Acting This Way" has sustained organ chords adding to the song's cheerless atmosphere, the sad tale of a couple at the end of a troubled relationship. There's precious little communication going on, a subject Van Zandt is adept at describing with keen insight and compassion. It closes the album on a high, if depressing, note.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2007
Label: Fat Possum Records
UPC: 0767981109022
catalogNumber: 1090
Rank: 13080

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Townes Van Zandt   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Don Randi   Keyboards
Lyle Ritz   Bass,Bass Guitar
James Burton   Dobro,Guitar
Mike Deasy   Guitar
Ben Bennay   Harmonica
John Clauder   Drums
Jack Clement   Guitar
Jack Clements   Guitar
David Cohen   Guitar
Chuck Domanico   Bass,Bass Guitar
Donald Frost   Drums
Jules Jacob   Flute
Harvey Newmark   Bass,Bass Guitar
Charlie McCoy   Bass,Guitar,Harmonica,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
John Clauder   Drums

Technical Credits

Jack Clement   Producer,Audio Production
Jack Clements   Producer
Kevin Eggers   Producer
Milton Glaser   Graphic Design
Jim Malloy   Producer,Audio Production
Allan Vogel   Cover Photo
Lola Scobey   Liner Notes
Kevin Calabro   Reissue Production Coordination
Tyson Schuetze   Reissue Production Coordination
Katja Maas   Reissue Production Coordination

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