In the Beginning …

Townes Van Zandt. | Compadre.

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Featuring 10 previously unreleased 1966 recordings, In the Beginning… offers a raw look at the evolution of this remarkable Texan. Townes Van Zandt — the late ballad singer best known for the epic “Pancho and Lefty” — hadn’t fully digested his influences yet: The woeful twang on “Waitin’ for the Day” recalls Hank Williams, while “Black Jack Mama” matches the swagger of a young Bob Dylan. Most striking are his studies of emotional desolation, including “Maryetta’s Song,” a haunting portrait of a woman who “lives for the pain tomorrow will bring.” From the very start, Van Zandt portrayed tormented humanity with rare sensitivity.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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