Townes Van Zandt - Live At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas

Double Album 2LP Vinyl Records Remaster + Download

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Live At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas is a live album by American singer - songwriter Townes Van Zandt, originally released in 1977 via Tomato Records.

Townes Van Zandt, was an American songwriter widely regarded for his poetic, often heroically sad songs. Much of his life was spent touring various dive bars, often living in cheap motel rooms and backwoods cabins. For much of the 1970s, he lived in a simple shack without electricity or a phone.

He suffered from a series of drug addictions, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder. When he was young, the now discredited insulin shock therapy erased much of his long-term memory.

Van Zandt died on New Years Day 1997 from cardiac arrythmia caused by health problems stemming from years of substance abuse. The 2000s saw a resurgence of interest in Van Zandt. During the decade, two books, a documentary film titled Be Here to Love Me, and a number of magazine articles about the singer were written.

Live At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas captures Van Zandt in a series of July 1973 performances in an intimate venue and there is a strong critical consensus that this recording is among the most exemplary of his career.

In July 1973, Van Zandt performed a string of shows over five sweltering nights at the Old Quarter club owned by Rex Bell and Dale Soffar that were recorded on a portable four track by Earl Willis, the album's producer and engineer.

Van Zandt is better regarded as a songwriter than as a performer, and not without reason - he was a peerless lyricist with a singular ability to capture the landscape of the heart and soul in words, but while he was a fine singer he wasn't exceptional, and the ravages of alcohol, tobacco and drugs took a fearsome toll on his voice in his last years.

But Van Zandt could work magic in front of an audience under the right circumstances, and while a wealth of live recordings of Van Zandt have emerged since his passing on the first day of 1997, Live At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas ranks with the very best of his concert albums.

Live At The Old Quarter is simple and spare, capturing Van Zandt in a 1973 solo performance at a Houston saloon with just his acoustic guitar for company, and the engineering ably captures the ambience of the room, with the audience clearly caught up in the spell of these songs.

The set features 26 songs, all originals except for covers of "Cocaine Blues", "Nine Pound Hammer", and "Who Do You Love", and Van Zandt brigs these tunes to life with an easy grace that's a striking complement to the emotional gravity of his lyrics, though he also gives his lighter side an airing here, occasionally cracking jokes and offering a pair of funny talking blues numbers, "Talking Thunderbird Blues" and "Fraternity Blues".

If the renditions of "Pancho And Lefty", "If I Needed You", "Rex's Blues", "For The Sake Of The Song", and "Tecumseh Valley" aren't quite definitive, they're beautiful and affecting, and thanks to the sharp performances, on-point vocals, and superb set list, this is a superior document of Townes Van Zandt on-stage, and is a fine introduction to his body of work.

Check out these tracks: Pancho And Lefty; For The Sake Of The Song; Cocaine Blues; Talking Thunderbird Blues and Tecumseh Valley.

This 2015 remastered double LP on black vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with digital download is pressed in the USA by Fat Possum Records.

 

(0767981111834)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Announcement (By Dale Soffar)

0:44

A2

Pancho And Lefty

4:08

A3

Mr. Mudd And Mr. Gold

3:40

A4

Don’t You Take It Too Bad

2:57

A5

Two Girls

3:51

A6

Fraternity Blues

3:07

A7

If I Needed You

3:18

B1

Brand New Companion

4:20

B2

White Freight Liner Blues

3:26

B3

To Live Is To Fly

3:20

B4

She Came And She Touched Me

4:09

B5

Talking Thunderbird Blues

2:33

B6

Rex’s Blues

3:05

B7

Nine Pount Hammer

3:06

C1

For The Sake Of The Song

4:48

C2

Chauffeur’s Blues

4:33

C3

No Place To Fall

3:08

C4

Loretta

2:26

C5

Kathleen

2:54

C6

Why She’s Acting This Way

5:42

D1

Cocaine Blues

3:21

D2

Who Do You Love

3:45

D3

Tower Song

3:47

D4

Waiting ‘Round To Die

2:35

D5

Tecumseh Valley

4:30

D6

Lungs

2:34

D7

Only Him Or Me

2:42

SKU 0767981111834
Record Label Fat Possum Records
Label / Model # Inertia
Catalogue Number FP1118-1
Country US - United States
Release Date (Year) 01 July 2015
Original Release Date (Year) 01 January 1977
Barcode # 0767981111834
Shipping Weight 0.4550kg
Shipping Width 0.008m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000789000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Double Album 2LP Vinyl Records, Remastered, Reissue, Gatefold Sleeve, Digital Download Card
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Blues
Format VINYL LP

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