Viva Terlingua, recorded live in Luckenbach, TX, on a hot August night in 1973, is among the most legendary of "live" singer/songwriter albums ever released. It's the Live at the Fillmore East of redneck Texas folk-rock. Essentially, it's Jerry Jeff fronting the Lost Gonzo Band at the beginning of their long run together playing, living it up, having a ball, giving everybody the impression that life was a party, and to be sure, it was for a while. Given the loose, inspired performance on this set, Walker was every bit the equal of Willie, Waylon, and Billy Joe Shaver at the time. The material is terrific. Half of it is from Jerry Jeff's catalog: "Sangria Wine," "Gettin' By," "Little Bird," "Get It Out," and "Wheel." The rest? Can't possibly do better: Guy Clark's "Desperados Waiting for the Train," Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," Michael Murphy's "Backslider's Wine," and Gary P. Nunn's Austin City Limits anthem, "London Homesick Blues." It doesn't sound anything like it was recorded in front of an audience, but it does sound live as hell. These folks were partyin' it up and layin' down the tracks at white heat. This record was made in a night and it feels like it was made in your living room. It's guaranteed to lift any dark mood within 15 minutes. This record asks no questions and there are no hidden meanings in Walker's or anybody else's lyrics; it's all there for the taking. And that's what makes it the enduring classic it is.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek