This is an excellent recording is of a live performance by these three Texan singers in a local bar to raise money for a small local charity. This is the real charm of the album. It is intimate with lots of chat with the audience; not over produced, you can hear and enjoy the guitar playing; and it feels very genuine, just 3 local guys sparing a bit of time to raise some money and have some fun. You really feel as if you are there. There is a mixture of tracks, some old favourites, some less well known. Sometimes the chat is a bit corny for British tastes, but it's all well meant. A warm, friendly album of real music.
Three of the most talented songwriters ever to have graced a stage performing together was a mouth-watering prospect for me, and I wasn't disappointed at all. It's a fabulous recording of three old friends playing some of their finest numbers laced with recollections between the songs. It's without doubt one of the best records I've picked up this year and is a fitting tribute to Townes, as this would have been one of the last of his performances caught on record.
This is an acoustic, benefit concert. Basically a "one man and his guitar" setup. For each of these three, that's their natural setting and where you can see their strengths at their best. It's live, so don't expect note perfect performances but what you get that you don't always get from studio albums is a real feeling for each of the characters. They all deliver strong performances but the real eye-opener for me was Townes Van Zandt. If you listen to his renditons of "Pancho and Lefty" and "Tecumseh Valley" on here and then go back to any of his studio recordings, there is no comparison. The studio recordings just don't have the life that he puts into these. As well as the songs, there are reminiscences and stories which are very worthwhile too. The only weak point of the the album (surprisingly) is a shortened version of Copperhead Road. The rest of it is brilliant. These guys are excellent performers, they are close friends and this recording captures them all on top form. It's a rare and wonderful record
Imagine three of your favourite singers and put them in in your local pub, considering they're good friends and all a bit mad. That's Steve Earle, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt together at the Bluebird Cafe. A highly recommended purchase, good songs, great guitar playing and even better anecdotes from the three legends. Consider Steve Earle's introduction to "Valentines Day": "It was too late in the evening to get her something, and I can't get NO kind of a licence so I couldn't drive anywhere either. So I sat down and wrote this..." Highlights are Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues" and "The Cape", along with Earle's fine rendition of "Tom Ames' Prayer". Well worth a few pound that you might spend in the pub anyway! Klaus
Great stuff from Steve Earle and Guy Clark, let down by Townes. I enjoyed this but it could have been better. Steve and Guy were in great voice whereas Townes sounded off key on occassions. Neverlheless it is still worth buying and enjoying. 4 *.
Great lieve album; just like being there: Townes sounds at the end of his tether, Guy is jolly and professional and Steve is the young gun, trying to make his rep and succeeding (apart from a butchered "Copperhead Road")
Dumb other reviewer, Townes is a genius as shown here by his wonderful songs but stories too, just brilliant, moving when either tragic or hilarious. His voice in these last years puts over those amazing stories. To say it is awful, err totally misses the point!