Alex Massie

Townes van Zandt: Saturday Morning Country

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First we had Dolly Parton and then last week we featured Emmylou Harris singing Pancho & Lefty so this Saturday it makes sense to put Townes van Zandt in the spotlight.

This video comes from towards the end of his life by which time his voice was even more ragged than it ever was. Then again, it's not the voice that matters so much as the songwriting and the haunting, elegiac, melancholy that makes Townes van Zandt one of the great American songwriters of the past 50 years. In any genre.

Here he is then, performing the classic Tecumseh Valley. Lean, spare and magnificent:

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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