Towns Van Zandt is a name I’ve known for a long time. And he has a reputation as a country / folk pioneer that makes me know I should have listened to him long before now. And this week, I finally got the inspiration to do something about it. Listening to Chris Shifflett’s awesome podcast, Walking the Floor, I heard an interview with Steve Earl. In said interview, Earl talked briefly about his friendship with Van Zandt and his tragic demise. In an interview full of amazing stories, this one stood out the most. Which made me finally listen to Towns Van Zandt and Delta Momma Blues.
Earl also talked a lot about the obstacles people like he and Van Zandt faced in the 60s and 70s. Mainly, the rock world thought they were too country and old fashioned, while the country world of Nashville thought they were too long haired, rock and roll and modern. Listening to Delta Momma Blues’ opening pair of FFV and the title track, it sounds pretty bloody traditional and country to my 2016 ears. Acoustic guitar, bass lines that could be played on a moonshine jug, with fiddle flourishes for colour. As much as I like these songs and this sound, it’s hard to think of a time when it was considered too modern. (more…)