The Tim Buckley Archives

Album Reviews


Exclusive First Listen: Tim Buckley

by Lars Gotrich

August 18, 2009 - Tim Buckley was just twenty years old in 1967, when Izzy Young asked him to play above his store on Sixth Avenue in New York City. Young had never heard Buckley's music, but after several hours of conversation he knew exactly what he stood for — and that was enough for Young. In front of a small crowd of 35, Young set up a field recording kit amidst stacks of books and records and flipped the reels every now and again, as Buckley played completely unadorned.

Following one self-titled record, and with Goodbye and Hello coming just a few months later, Live at the Folklore Center, NYC reveals Buckley the singer-songwriter. Stripped of a backing band and string arrangements, these songs show the influences of Bob Dylan and Fred Neil — Buckley covers Dolphins here — more than any of his studio work. Without a rhythm section on folk-rockers like I Never Asked to be Your Mountain, Buckley strums furiously, resulting in a hypnotic acoustic drone that beds Buckley's soaring vocals.

Aside from the audio verite, this live recording features six songs never before heard in any format. It's certainly a treasure for the Buckley collector, and an insight into the many directions he could have taken after 1967. There's the schmaltzy-yet-charming What Do You Do (He Never Saw You), and Country Boy,an urban cowboy song begging for a snarling electric guitar riff. But perhaps the biggest connection to his later experimental work is I Can't Leave You Loving Me. It has the passionate drive of Buckley's folk-rockers, but vocally he reaches far out into space.

No matter his location or time, Buckley never quite found his place. Even at the height of the folk revival in Greenwich Village, gigs were scarce during his short time away from LA. Still, he kept moving forward until his death in 1975. On Live at the Folklore Center, NYC, we hear an unabashedly hopeful Buckley, an unbridled youth forever embedded on tape.

© 2009 Gotrich/NPR

This website formerly used Adobe Shockwave , Adobe Flash, and Photodex Presenter to play photo slideshows.

Browsers no longer support these players as of January 12, 2021.
Please excuse limited navigation and missing audio files while modifications are being made.


Home Contact us About The Archives

Unless otherwise noted
Entire contents © 1966 - 2021 The Estate of Timothy C Buckley III
All rights reserved.