Digitally remastered digipak edition of this live album from the holy trinity of Roots/Country songwriters: Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Originally recorded in 1995 as a benefit for the Interfaith Dental Clinic in Nashville, Together at the Bluebird Cafe contains a live acoustic performance this talented trio. 20 tracks. Snapper Classics. 2004.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Apparently, these three underground folk / rock / country greats walked on stage together for what sounds like a nearly impromptu benefit for a proposed Interfaith Dental Clinic (for the "working poor," Van Zandt explains, "who can't get insurance"). Each performs several of his own songs, accompanying himself on guitar with a minimal amount of harmony vocals. Earle and Clark give strong performances. The stories told between songs are sometimes hilarious -- Townes' story of losing his gold tooth in a game of cards, or Earle's recounting of how his roommates were too dumb to even steal pizza. But the thing I find really striking about this recording is Townes Van Zandt. Townes died only a couple of years later, the proximate cause being complications following hip surgery, but his alcoholism no doubt contributing. In his performances you can hear his slipping concentration -- missed chords, forgotten lines, etc. His performance of "A Song...
... I quickly bought the album and liked it immediately. It was recorded in 1995, not long after Earle got out, appears to be after Train A-Comin' but before I Feel Alright. It follows the same quiet, acoustic folk sensibility as Train A-Comin'. It is not a rowdy album at all, more like Earle, Van Zandt and Clark are sitting in your living room trading off songs with nothing but their guitars. The three obviously know each other very well and are very relaxed, so the songs flow very easily and naturally, and that by itself is a huge benefit to the album. Included are a few Earle standards like "My Old Friend the Blues" and "I Ain't Ever Satisfied", though the one drawback is a clipped version of "Copperhead Road", which is the finale and the rowdiest this album gets (which is really not at all). The best songs in my opinion are "Valentine's Day", this version of which I think far surpasses that on I Feel Alright, "My Old Friend the Blues", "Mercenary Song" and "Tecumseh...
This CD, capturing a 1995 guitar pull with Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, is as great as you would picture. The sound quality is excellent sound quality and the song selection is great. Earle and Van Zandt, in particular, are in great voice and spice up several of the songs with charming banter. For Earle, this is a far more satisfying concert snapshot than his full-length SHUT UP AND DIE LIKE AN AVIATOR from years ago. Standout cuts: Earle's Mercenary Blues; Van Zandt's Tecumseh Valley; and Clark's Randall Knife.
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