Editors’ Notes Listening to The Highway Kind is a bittersweet joy. Released the same year as the legendary Texas folksinger's death, this mostly-live album lays bare the last days of a tired, sick man. The impression is aided by the song selection, some of the darkest, most road-weary songs in the Van Zandt catalog and a handful of doleful covers, including Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues" and the Hank Williams lament "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle." (This last features some lovely fiddling from Jim Calvin and Van Zandt's heartbreaking yodel, quite possibly the most vulnerable sound ever commited to vinyl.) Even the album's "comic" moments heft a tragic weight, from the leprechaun story that closes out the affecting cover of "Ira Hayes" to "No Deal," with its crooked car salesman trying to sell Townes a car with no engine: "You don't need no engine to go downhill / And I could plainly see / That's the direction you're headed in / And he handed me the keys." These certainly aren't the "best" versions of these songs ever recorded, but they're haunting and unforgettable nonetheless. As in Billie Holiday's late work, the beauty is gone but the greatness remains.