Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel
Label: Charly | Tomato
It took Van Zandt a few albums before he understood that his artistry was best served by simplicity. Gone are the strings, dense reverb and lavish ornamentation that bogged down both For the Sake of the Song and Our Mother the Mountain. The singer-songwriter's classic third album is all about guitar, light percussion, some harmonica and that voice -- dry as the high plains in summer and achingly direct. Every time Van Zandt stretches a note, he sounds as if his world is about to crumble into dust.