Friday, October 16, 2009

Townes Van Zandt: Waitin' Round To Die

A while back, I posted Johnny Cash's video for his cover of NIN's "Hurt", a video that I felt had great emotional power. While not a true video, this clip, taken from the documentary "Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt" is powerful stuff indeed.

Watch the old black gentleman, Seymour Washington, as Townes sings "Waitin' Round To Die", as he is truly moved by the music and lyrics. This isn't some staged episode of a crap reality show. It IS reality. When music can do that it is true, not some manufactured crap designed to appeal to the masses, but something that speaks so powerfully you can't help but feel a release of emotion.

Townes died on New Years Day 1997 from years of substance abuse, and never really found mainstream fame, although there are many musicians that site him as a a major influence on their work. Musician Steve Earle, a close friend, once said Van Zandt was "the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." His most famous song was "Poncho and Lefty", covered by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

Probably not the best (meaning happy goofy fun!) Friday video, but sometimes the blues can make a person come through to the other side feeling joy. It's the magic of music, and it has a strong pull.

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