Townes Van Zandt

The Nashville Sessions

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When Poppy Records went bankrupt in 1973, it left Townes Van Zandt with two unreleased albums. One was Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas, which was released by Tomato, Poppy's successor, in 1977. The other was a studio recording that languished for 20 years until being issued by Rhino/Tomato in 1993 under the title The Nashville Sessions. By that time, Van Zandt had put 10 of its 12 songs on such albums as Live at the Old Quarter, Flyin' Shoes, At My Window, and Live & Obscure. Since six of them turned up on his next studio album, Flyin' Shoes, The Nashville Sessions acted as a kind of rough version of that album. Otherwise, one might have suspected that the songs came from before Van Zandt's sixth album, The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt, since they seemed to have more in common with his fifth album, High, Low and In Between. One of the two previously unheard songs, "Upon My Soul," was similar to the uptempo gospel tunes on that album. One also might have suspected that the songs could be outtakes from the fifth and sixth albums, since they were not quite up to the quality of those records.