Together at the Bluebird Cafe

Together at the Bluebird Cafe

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by Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark
     
 

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September 13, 1995, was a night to remember at Nashville's Bluebird Café -- three towering American songwriters shared the club's tiny stage for an all-acoustic night of tall tales, musings on the state of the heart, and communiqués from the deepest part of these Texas troubadours' worldly souls. Together is a straightforward document of that dazzling evening.…  See more details below

Overview

September 13, 1995, was a night to remember at Nashville's Bluebird Café -- three towering American songwriters shared the club's tiny stage for an all-acoustic night of tall tales, musings on the state of the heart, and communiqués from the deepest part of these Texas troubadours' worldly souls. Together is a straightforward document of that dazzling evening. For the most part, Guy Clark is wry and sardonic, Townes Van Zandt bemused and laconic, Steve Earle edgy, intense, political. Van Zandt has a wonderful moment with a humorous introduction to "Katie Belle," and the subsequent tender, lyrical reading of same. Earle clearly mesmerizes the audience with a touching version of "Valentine's Day," his declaration of pure love. Clark has rarely been better on record than he is here on "Randall Knife," a recitation with minimal guitar accompaniment documenting conflicted feelings summoned by his father's death. Van Zandt's reading of his classic "Pancho and Lefty" heightens the narrative's irony to a degree that escaped the song's most famous interpreters, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. An uncredited Emmylou Harris pops up singing ethereal harmony with Clark on "Immigrant Eyes" and returns again to add a haunting presence to Earle's fierce set closer, "Copperhead Road." It was a night, ooh what a night it was, it really was such a night.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, and Guy Clark had a lot in common as revered Nashville singer/songwriters on the fringes of the country music industry, which made this gig at the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville, a benefit for the Interfaith Dental Clinic, an impressive lineup. Recorded September 13, 1995, it was an old-fashioned guitar pull, with each performer alternating as his fellows pitched in with a little guitar playing and encouragement. That's as much as they got together, however; there are no actual duos or trios on the disc. It does seem that Clark is singing along a little bit on Earle's "Mercenary Song," though, and an unidentified voice that sounds a lot like Emmylou Harris applies some harmony on Clark's "Immigrant Song" and Earle's "Copperhead Road." The performances are off the cuff to the point of being more like a casual get-together than an actual concert. Van Zandt, whose songs are the most depressing (and that's saying a lot), is the funniest, especially discussing his own dental needs in the light of losing a tooth in a dice game. He also goes up on the lyrics to "Pancho and Lefty," which doesn't keep it from being as amazing a song as ever. In fact, the songs just seem to get better and better as these three rough-hewn craftsmen demonstrate their remarkable abilities. Those who know their work will delight in hearing favorite songs in an intimate live setting; those who do not may be introduced to a world of great songwriting.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/02/2009
Label:
Ais
UPC:
0636551616126
catalogNumber:
5161612
Rank:
5468

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Together at the Bluebird Cafe 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This live recording is simply awesome. I listen to it all the time. I can't even tell you how great it is. Buy it. You won't regret it.