Live At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas (Tomato)

Reviewed by Shaun Dale

Seems to me that Texas has produced an above average number of better than average songwriters, and along the way it's produced a fair number of truly great songwriters. I'd be hard pressed to say that any of them, though, are any better than Townes Van Zandt, and I'd put up decent money that you'd be hard pressed to find a Texas songwriter that would claim to being better than Townes. His songs have been performed by countless folk and country performers, and there have been some pretty popular recordings created in the process. There's no better way to hear his songs, though, than to hear Townes own recordings, and there's no better place to start than this classic double disc, originally released in 1977.

23 of the 27 tracks here are Van Zandt originals, including some of his most famous songs, such as "Pancho & Lefty," "Two Girls," and "Waiting 'Round To Die." Recorded in a crowded barroom as a solo acoustic act in 1973, this is Townes Van Zandt the folksinger in his purest and plainest form, and that's the ideal way to get to know his music. Even better, the album has been remastered to sound better than ever and is released in its complete glory for the first time on CD, with the original notes, new notes from Chet Flippo and lyrics to all the original songs. If you love Townes Van Zandt, you've been waiting for this one. If you don't love Townes Van Zandt, this one is the musical equivalent of Cupid's arrow.

Track List:

Disc One: Announcement * Pancho & Lefty * Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold * Don't You Take It Too Bad * Two Girls * Fraternity Blues * If I Needed You * Brand New Companion * White Freight Liner Blues * To Live Is To Fly * She Came Around And She Touched Me * Talking Thunderbird Blues * Rex's Blues * Nine Pound Hammer Disc Two: For The Sake Of The Song * Chauffeur's Blues * No Place To Fall * Loretta * Kathleen * Why She's Acting This Way * Cocaine Blues * Who Do You Love * Tower Song * Waiting 'Round To Die * Tecumseh Valley * Lungs * Only Him Or Me

© 2002 - Shaun Dale