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Songs of Townes Van ZandtScott Kelly

The compilation album “Songs of Townes Van Zandt” is an homage to singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt, his melancholic acoustic songs performed by guitarists Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till (both Neurosis) and Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed).

The acoustic album “Songs of Townes Van Zandt” may still come as a surprise to some of the fans of this trio of brothers in spirit. Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till are mainly known for the cathartic, apocalyptic music of their band Neurosis. And, likewise, Scott “Wino” Weinrich is best known for his numerous doom metal and desert rock bands and projects, such as The Obsessed, The Hidden Hand and the outstanding supergroup Shrinebuilder (also with Kelly). However, all three have released acoustic solo albums before, under their own names and Wino also in collaboration with Conny Ochs. Thus, this stripped-down acoustic approach is not as surprising as it may seem at first. The three experienced musicians tackle the music of country and folk singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt, each of them contributing three minimalist versions of the gloomy poet’s compositions. Well-versed in deeply emotional music, the three guitarists handle this material superbly, the songs are heartfelt, honest, poignant. As is also the case in Neurosis, I have a hard time telling the voices of Kelly and Von Till apart, but their performances are completely enthralling. Usually, I am not too much into acoustic music, but these introvert songs, handled by three veritable giants, are something else altogether. (And, of course, “acoustic” doesn’t bar the occasional use of an electric guitar to accentuate certain moments.) Absolutely recommended listening.

Klaas Ilse | Jul 16, 2012
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