I first discovered singer-songwriter Mike Nisbet through his debut album Vagrant, which if you haven’t heard is often poignant, sometimes catchy and ultimately one to remember. Mike’s suggestion was (for me) like rifling through a stack of old records and choosing one a great one by chance: American Country-folk singer Townes Van Zandt. I’ll leave it to him to tell you more…
Townes Van Zandt – ‘Townes Van Zandt’
This is one of my favourite albums, released on 1969 i guess it’s a ‘classic’. Songs of a man telling it straight, how he’s feeling about lovers, life and passing of time. It’s like a friend you can return to when you need them, someone who’ll take you under their arm and say ‘it’s ok man, lets have a whisky, and I’ll tell you a story about that’
The album soars from from beautiful highs to cut throat lows, with lines like ‘I tried to hide the pain / bought some wine and hopped a train / well it’s easier than waitin’ around to die’ from the track Waitin’ Around To Die, making you think ‘what’s this all about?’ But the sweetness of Colorado Girl reminds you why the world is beautiful. ‘the promise in her smile / shames the mountains tall /she can bring the sun shining/ and tell the rain to fall’
A man who knew him well, Steve Earle, once said ‘Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that’ and I’d stand there with him.
I first heard of The Son(s) late last year when they got in touch with me via soundcloud for my tumblr site – one of those days that made me glad to be writing about music. The track sent was Underneath The Arbor, a fragile, captivating and beautiful song: in short an absolute gem of a discovery. As musicians go, K.P. son also couldn’t be nicer, hence why I asked them to give me a musical suggestion…
Play a Song for Me: The Son(s)!
“I’ve been listening to a lot of new music so far this year; RM Hubbert’s new album, Maraqopa by Damien Jurado and Heart Heart and the Simple Folk radio session by Withered Hand. But two songs which have been stuck in my head almost constantly are:
Looking Back I Should Have Been Home More by Richard Swift (who also had a large hand in Maraqopa) which is a song from some years back…
Begin Again by Tim Weary (of The Weary Band) which is on their new album (but I like this version slightly better).”
The Son(s) new EP Leviathan is released on 7th May via Olive Grove Records.
Play a Song For Me has been living over on tumblr since its inception last August, I just looked back at the start and the first song I posted was Mr Tambourine Man (for the title of course). The idea was to champion new music as much as possible and facilitate discoveries. I love doing a photo blog, but I wanted to be able to share more than one piece of content at a time, hence why I have ended up over here too.
It will be changing form slightly – from a fairly straightforward music blog to a treasure trove of suggestions which I’m in the fortunate position of being able to curate. At least that’s what I’m hoping.
So…let’s set this thing off and see where it takes us!