Tony Scherman
July 09, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Far Cry From Dead

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Townes Van Zandt
Producers
Arista Austin
genre
Folk, Country

We gave it an A

Before his ’97 death, the fabled Texas-born bard Townes Van Zandt made private solo recordings of some of his best songs, which appear here with posthumously recorded backup. Though the dead-star-fronts-living-band concept usually stiffs, it works on A Far Cry From Dead, giving fans inspired new versions of classics (”Pancho and Lefty,” ”Dollar Bill Blues”), plus a previously unreleased gem, the terrifying ”Sanitarium Blues.” The best introduction yet to this master craftsman’s dour magic. A

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