Writer’s Choice is a series where artists talk about one of their favorite songs. This week features Chelle Rose, who recently released the Ray Wylie Hubbard-produced Ghost of Browder Holler.
I found ‘Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas double vinyl in my
grannymom’s eves along with The Marshall Tucker Band and Willis Alan Ramsey. I didn’t realize at the time, but my Uncle George’s record collection was a goldmine that is still to this day in my possession. I hope he doesn’t read this. (laughs) He’s not much on technology so I think I may be safe.
I have to be honest and say that upon first listen to these records, Townes didn’t stay with me. I was more drawn to The Marshall Tucker record probably because it was familiar on my WIMZ southern rock exposed ears.
It was only in my adult life that I discovered Townes Van Zandt from hearing Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams speak of his influence. When I sought out his music, I remembered the album artwork and went digging for that treasure that was in my stack of old vinyls.
I dropped that needle down on those records and it was a whole new world. I had just gotten my first guitar and learned 3 chords and immediately had a strong desire to just write every day.
Well, I was really young when I first heard the song, but I was curious about this talk of being Low and High. I think that’s all I really caught at the time. I honestly don’t think I understood the song at all.
Today it’s so very relevant. Absolutely the stubborn determination in the lyric to have his way with livin, lovin and ramblin’. Everything I’ve learned about ‘living in the moment’ is right there. I mean that’s perfection in art. I can’t think of a more lovely gift to leave as legacy. Lines from this song run through my mind all the time. Of course, I found out about those ‘Low’s and High’s', so the song consoles. A go-to comfort.
Well the production was juke joint but it’s my favorite Townes record. Other produced works never lived up this recording. You can smell the sweat and beer… sometimes you can hear the push and shove of all those people crammed in that room. Wish I’d been one of ‘em.
The chord progression is simple and easy on the ear. The poets stream of consciousness doesn’t need much.
The ability he had to write so effortlessly about the precious secrets of living. These days we all seem to just work and fret
at this furious pace. Every day we do this. This lyric reminds me to just ‘let go’. You’re gonna end up exactly where you are meant to be. No need to fight a rough current. Just ‘float’.
His voice and impeccable, colorful palette of words weaves his body of work together in my mind. So much so, that sometimes I can’t remember which songs are from what album. Strange but true. Brilliant what he left us.”