One of Cheryl Lynn's early killers for Columbia – an album of tight, bouncy, joyous soul all the way through – free from any of the too-commercial touches that sometimes slowed Cheryl's later work! Ray Parker Jr produced the set – and he as well is free from the slicker sounds of his hits – keeping things warm, personal, and real on most of the album's best tracks – and balancing Cheryl nicely between heartfelt mellow tracks and a few more uptempo tunes designed to keep her on the minds of the dancefloor scene. Titles include "In The Night", "Baby", "What's On Your Mind", "Hurry Home", and "With Love On Our Side". CD also features the bonus track "Shake It Up Tonight (single version)"
Van Zandt's subject matter had not changed much in the seven years between recordings, as was apparent only a few lines into the leadoff track, "A Song For," when Van Zandt spoke-sang, "I'm weak and I'm weary of sorrow." In fact, he wasn't weary of enumerating the causes of sorrow, as was proven especially in "Marie," sung in the voice of a derelict whose life gets worse and worse until his pregnant girlfriend dies. Songs like that were typical of Van Zandt, but this time he also displayed an unusual range, from the scary, calypso-like song of temptation "The Hole" to the weird tall tale of "Billy, Boney and Ma" in which a man and a skeleton turn to a life of crime, demonstrating Van Zandt's humorous side.
This reissue of a 1993 live album was never intended to memorialize Townes Van Zandt (in the saddest of posthumous ironies, its Sugar Hill sleeve includes a phone number to call for bookings), but it'll do for now. Originally released by Sundown, a tiny Austin indie with limited distribution, the 17-song set finds Van Zandt in fine form – upbeat, gracious, apparently sober – and in good company, with fiddler Owen Cody and guitarist Danny Rowland adding a dimension of musical enhancement that never overwhelms the nuances of the material. As anyone who ever saw Van Zandt fall off a stool recognizes, there was no such thing as a typical Townes performance, but when he was good, no one working in the Texas troubadour tradition has ever been better.