Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Townes Van Zandt|
Live at The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
It'll make you wish you'd been there.
Daniel Hoyt | H-Town, USA | 03/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just about everyone rates this five stars, which is about as right as air conditioning in Houston in August. Most of the reviewers have an anecdote about meeting Van Zandt, and I do too, but I want to talk a little about the album first.
I'm not sure that I've ever heard a bad recording of his "Waiting Round To Die", but this is my favorite. He cracks a few jokes between songs, mostly unreusable (but he learned one from Jerry Jeff Walker!)
Most of this is his original early work. A few covers--some Lightnin Hopkins, Nine Pound Hammer? (don't remember whose that was), an interesting take on Who Do You Love. None of it feels produced or polished, but the sound is clear, and the background sounds have been partly knocked out--or else folks was being real polite. I'm not a sound guy so I don't know about that stuff. But the music is about as honest playing in a cramped bar as it gets, and ambient sound doesn't distract. A few words on atmosphere...
1970s Houston, humid summer heat and still air, no air conditioning, cramped bar, 100+ obviously insane people. For those not from here, it's called the Armpit of the Southwest for good reason. No aircon = hell on earth, beer in hand or not. I've read that it was so packed that beers were moving from the bar to the buyer hand-by-hand-by-hand. And in the recording, Townes appreciates the crowd for their devotion and even gets a quiver in his voice when he talks to them about it. Maybe it was just the heat, but seems he was really happy to be there, and if you haven't been in an old school Texas bar before and can't appreciate the next point, I've put it in asterisks--the crowd was *respectful*.
I wish I'd been there during that time. I was one year from being born when this was recorded. I met him years later when I was in college at a particular venue in Austin (details purposefully withheld). He was the most easy-goin' guy you ever met. And drunk as Punch, but at least coherent. The bar manager was obsessed with making him comfortable and ready to play, which was amusing then but admirable now. Sad to hear that he left us when it happened, sad still today.
A beautiful capture
Peter F. Flynn | 04/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A beautiful capture. Stripped down, yet a remarkable crystal clear recording. If you are a fan, you need this."
Keith M. Jones | raleigh, nc | 06/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of Townes Van Zandt after hearing a recording of 'short haired woman blues' On Pandora. I thought 'who the hell is that guy? Could he be drunker?'. But he was funny and obviously could play the guitar. I looked him up and found that he had written a ton of the songs i had heard others play (Poncho and Lefty, white freightliner blues, If i needed you, etc). The more i listened the more i loved his stuff. I found a 53 minute video on youtube called "solo sessions", and was hooked.
This album was done when he was at his peak. he had his largest collection of his early work done, and was pretty much sober for this performance. his voice is right on, and his guitar playing is excellent. As much as i love my more obscure albums from him, this is my favorite, and i keep heading back to him.
By the way, if you like his stuff, check out Blaze foley and Lucinda Williams. All three were friends and played in Austin together. They apparently crossed paths with Doc Watson down there for a while as well.