Townes Van Zandt - Live At The Old Quarter LP

(Tomato Records, 1977 - Fat Possum Records, 2009)

Live at The Old Quarter is country legend Townes Van Zandt’s crowning achievement. Recorded over five night’s in a tightly packed room, this double album came at the tail-end of a run of commercially disappointing releases for Van Zandt. Many of those studio albums have been criticized for adding too much orchestration to his deeply heartfelt and personal songs - some even blame those recordings’ lack of intimacy for their initial commercial failure.

Live at The Old Quarter rightly shows Van Zandt as a real Texas “good ol’ boy” at heart. His songwriting chops truly shine in this intimate setting. You can practically hear the reverent silence as he ambles into song after song, right after dropping one of his seemingly never-ending cache of corny jokes. The closest thing to a time machine to Houston, Texas circa 1973 that yet exists!