on March 21, 2002
It took me a couple of listens before I saw the light on this one. I must have had it half a year before being sucked in. At first it went in one ear and out the other, but not wanting to wear out my other TVZ records, I gave it a second chance.
THE SNAKE SONG & THE SPIDER SONG immediately grabbed me with their weird, bluesiness. Both are stark and ominous, the kind of Van Zandt I've come to appreciate. Unlike most of the other tracks on this album, they have not been re-packaged on later releases. This is really the only place I know of to hear them.
AT MY WINDOW, TWO GIRLS & NO PLACE TO FALL are certified Van Zandt classics and can be found on many of his other releases but I prefer the gentle acoustic stylings of these versions. Needless to say, there isn't a bad song on here. I'd say he's in peak form on this one. The writing and delivery is subtle and haunting thrhough and through.
To quote AT MY WINDOW, this album "leaves gentle traces". It may not be his most popular album, but it certainly is one of his best.
On a side note, fans of Will Oldham/Palace could do themselves a favor by picking this one up.
on October 2, 1999
I believe this recording captures some of Townes' absolute best songwriting. "At My Window", "Rex's Blues" and "Buckskin Stallion" define his genius and simplicity, as well as his beautiful acoustic guitar playing. Other songs display his deep sense of emotion and human relationships, as in "Loretta" and "Two Girls". There's quite a distinct sound here and it works. A young TVZ at his early best!
on July 25, 2016
With the likes of Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson covering his material, there are many who’ll try and tell you that the world was robbed of a musical genus when Townes Van Zandt died in 1997. Now, if one were to say that a troubled selfish and self-destructive artist died in 1997, I’ll agree with you without a third thought. My second thought is that his self-destructive nature and insane actions are what got him noticed in the first place, failing that, those same attributes are what kept him in the limelight, just as fans went to see The Doors, hoping that Morrison would fall drunken off the stage, show up so zonked on acid that he could barely do a thing other than what came to him as second nature, or best of all, get himself arrested right their in front of everyone. Van Zandt wasn’t the only artist with problems, and he seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of William Burroughs by brandishing weapons and his displays of Russian Roulette, though Burroughs managed to kill his wife while shooting a glass off of her head, something that Townes managed not to do, though not by much.
Others have gone on to say that this albums never saw the light of day for twenty some years due to Townes’ turbulent business arrangements ... and there were are again, face to face with a word like “turbulent,” which pretty much means that Townes’ was in no condition to conduct his own arrangements, with the upper hand being gained by those with clear heads. Probably most correct is that Townes suffered from depression, a description that gets laid on him like buttering bread, though the truth of the matter is that Townes took it to a whole new level, seeming to wear this diagnosis as a badge of honor, or at least an excuse for both the good and evil things he did. Discovered by the late and genus Mickey Newbury, who saw something in Van Zandt that he hoped would blossom into greatness, though it seems that Newbury missed the aspect that Van Zandt was trying to escape the despair he nearly inhaled with every breath, and created a song with every exhale.
Nashville Sessions is the missing link in the career of Townes Van Zandt, the album that nearly everyone was hoping for, the album that would allow them to forget who Van Zandt actually was for a brief moment, an album that’s filled with songs that seem larger than Van Zandt ever imagined them to be, an album of songs that will stand the test of time and critically carry the artist into the future ... nearly redeemed. This is an album of county songs that are interwoven with blues, an album that is distinctly one that belongs to Townes Van Zandt alone, yet is unlike anything he ever did before. And to that end, it’s probably a good thing that the release of the album took so long in arriving, as a breathing room of sorts was necessary for those of us who wasted our money purchasing concert tickets, and giving time for a new generation to discover his greatness, unassociated with his personality.
Nashville Sessions is one composed of songs Townes enjoyed most, one that owes much to the city of Nashville, and is named for. Nashville Sessions is also a testament to Townes Van Zandt finding a space between his breaths, between his inhale and exhale, and bringing forth, even if almost accidentally, the most splendid grouping of songs of his career.
Review by Jenell Kesler
on August 6, 2010
This is the best I've heard from TVZ so far. The songs, and it is all about the songs, are phenomenal and the production is excellent. Seller was quick, inexpensive (it would be an insult to call such a quality dealer cheap), and overall excellent. Great purchase.