Flyin' Shoes

Flyin' Shoes

Whether singing from the heady heights of a Saturday night spree or the regret-strewn squalor of a Sunday morning spent in the drunk tank, Townes Van Zandt was able to inject unanticipated shades of meaning into his weathered baritone. A catch in Townes' voice could turn the happiest song into a graveyard lament or a murder ballad into a fond memory. Though often covered by other artists, Townes Van Zandt was always his own best interpreter, and nowhere is this better demonstrated than on 1978's Flyin' Shoes, an album full of deceptively simple ballads of heartbreaking depth and Dylanesque flights of lyrical fancy with a plainspoken edge. Townes always thrived on this sort of lyrical ambiguity. In his hands the nonsense couplets of "Dollar Bill Blues" become signposts on the road to damnation, while his matter-of- fact delivery demystifies the cryptic lyrical pirouettes of "Flyin' Shoes," making them sound as ageless as Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain.” Though Townes had made astounding albums before this, with Flyin' Shoes he proved himself a songwriter on par with Hank Williams, Roy Acuff and anyone else you'd care to name.


Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada