The Holy Grail of Townes Van Zandt albums...during this July 1973 performance Van Zandt operated and the apex of his powers. With only his acoustic guitar Van Zandt performed some of his greatest songs such as "Poncho & Lefty", "Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold", "If I Needed You", "White Freight Liner Blues", "Loretta", "Waiting 'Round To Die" and "Lungs". Every song on this album is an original except for Bo Diddley's classic "Who Do You Love".
Van Zandt told jokes and stories between these stark and powerful songs with the crowd listening to every note, every word. Stories of Van Zandt's sad life often overshadows his talent and songs left behind. The seedy Old Quarter was a songwriter's litmus test...Lightning Hopkins, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark and Big Walter Jenkins all played there. It was a dank, sometimes dangerous sanctuary where pretenders were not welcome. Many singers "passed a hat" to earn from the audience what they deserved on any given night. On this humid Houston night Townes Van Zandt delivered in an eternal way.
Another great thing about this CD is it contains the lyrics to every Van Zandt song on the album...the re-issued version of this CD also stands as an essential. To read lyrics to "Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold" or "Lungs" proves inspiring in the sense these songs contain a rare degree of insight and craft...they resonate long after hearing or reading them. If you are new to Townes Van Zandt...this is the first CD you should buy. Live at The Old Quarter is an all-time classic...