Friday, August 22, 2008

by ericbkk #6

Townes Van Zandt: Early & Late.

Two TVZ concerts. One is the earliest known TVZ recording, from three years into his professional career, and the other was recorded just a couple of years before his untimely death at the age of 52.

"A Gentle Evening with Townes Van Zandt" 1969

"A Gentle Evening" was recorded in 1969 at Carnagie Hall, after the release of Townes' second album. The tape was thrown in a vault, and then shuffled from label to label as mergers took place, and was ultimately forgotten about, until now.
This is a remarkable look back at a young, 25 year old Townes, at the beginning of his career, and an insightful glimpse at what was yet to come. Townes is best known for his shows at small, intimate clubs, in front of small audiences. Yet here, he shows an amazing command of connecting with a much larger audience in a far larger venue, even so early in his career. Despite the sizable venue and audience, he transforms it into an understated, acoustic affair, and his songs come across as self-assured and confident. He sprinkles laid back, and at times, self depreciating humor throughout, making for a powerful performance.
"Tecumseh Valley", "Like A Summer's Thursday", "Second Lover's Song" and "She Came And She Touched Me" are culled from his first two albums. The rest of the songs are early workings of songs that wouldn't be released until later. "Lungs" and "Rake" show up on his next two releases, respectively. "Talking Thunderbird Wine Blues" and "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes" wouldn't appear on a studio album for another two decades. The biting wit of "Talking KKK Blues" shows up here on a recording for the first time ever.
"A Gentle Evening.." isn't just another in a spate of posthumous recordings by Townes. This one is an essential and important find, one more than worthy of seeing the light of day, after being forgotten for decades. As the earliest known existing live recording of Townes, it brings his story full circle, as we can now catch a glimpse at the beginnings of a true musical genius in progress- one that was taken far too soon.
: ~ AnnMarie Harrington Take Country Back May 2002

01. Talking KKK Blues
02. Rake
03. Like A Summer's Thursday
04. Second Lover's Song
05. She Came And She Touched Me
06. Lungs
07. Tecumseh Valley
08. A Joke
09. Talking Thunderbird Wine Blues
10. Ira Hayes

"Great American Music Hall, S.F.CA" Feb 16, 1995

Nearly pristine soundboard recording of an enjoyable Townes show.

01. Two Girls
02. Snowin' on Raton
03. The Hole
04. Pancho & Lefty
05. No Deeper Blue
06. Marie
07. Short-haired Woman Blues
08. You Win Again
09. Loretta
10. Ira Hayes
11. A Song For
12. To Live is to Fly
13. If I Needed You
14. Buckskin Stallion Blues

Of interest is the amount of TownesTalk at these two shows, a sharp contrast to the concert practices of a slightly older, much more famous troubadour who seems to have harboured a deep contempt for his audiences ever since 1966, and speaks hardly a word to those who still faithfully pay good money to attend his concerts.


Blogger Private Beach said...

The other troubadour says what he wants to say in his songs. And one of his finest recordings is a 1966 concert that was almost a war between him and his audience; he won.

22 August, 2008 20:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the Townes!!!

22 August, 2008 22:08  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about the other troubadour, private beach, and I admire his work, and consider it better than TVZ's, but I have problems with his concert demeanour (although I must admit I've never had a chance to attend any of his shows).
I remember someone on the radio speaking about having T2 to dinner at his home, and T2 just sat there, lost in his own private thoughts, and taking very little part in the proceedings, and after he'd left, they just rolled their eyes, and said he'd obviously had heavy thoughts in his head, but it just sounded like rudeness to me.
He seems to be the opposite of Oscar Wilde, who said he put his talent into his work, and put his genius into his life.
Perhaps it's a question of how much licence does talent/genius give to an artist to behave, not just differently from ordinary people, but almost boorishly.

23 August, 2008 00:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks, Lizardson, for supporting one of the best troubadours that has been all around the world. Pity that his life was quite a bit tragic composing such beautiful songs.

23 August, 2008 19:05  
Blogger rockymustard said...

Thanks for the double dose of Townes.

25 August, 2008 02:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for...a gentle evening...havent heard this before so Im looking forward to trying it out....keep up the excellent work you do to give folks the opportunity of listening to some great sounds.

25 August, 2008 17:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always appreciate TVZ--thank you!

26 August, 2008 04:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Townes was one of the greats. I just missed seeing him play a high school auditorium near me in 1996 - found out about it 2 days after it happened. Then he died a few months later.

There's a great DVD out on his life (Be Here To Love Me).

Thanks for these!! I have a lot of Townes but did not have either of these.

26 August, 2008 07:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this early Townes...I don't have it and I'm looking forward to listening.
Thanks again! Great blog!

26 August, 2008 11:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to you I finally understand why The Tindersticks or Johan Asherton love ths songwriter .
Thank you ...
( I give the link on my blog ).

30 August, 2008 08:01  

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