Steve Earle

Together at the Bluebird Cafe

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Together at the Bluebird Cafe Review

by 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.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:31 Amazon
2 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:03 Amazon
3
Steve Earle feat: Townes Van Zandt 01:44 Amazon
4 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:13 Amazon
5 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:29 Amazon
6
Steve Earle 01:03 Amazon
7 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:10 Amazon
8 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 02:55 Amazon
9 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 04:46 Amazon
10 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:22 Amazon
11
Steve Earle feat: Townes Van Zandt 04:29 Amazon
12 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:29 Amazon
13 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 04:29 Amazon
14 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 04:00 Amazon
15 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 05:22 Amazon
16 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 04:08 Amazon
17 Steve Earle 01:42 Amazon
18 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:02 Amazon
19 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 04:36 Amazon
20 Steve Earle feat: Guy Clark / Townes Van Zandt 03:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick