Buckley’s Spirit is Revived on New Live Album
many musicians of his generation, legendary singer-songwriter
Tim Buckleys life was cut tragically short.
In fact, his posthumous releases are more numerous and often
more popular than those he released during his brief life.
On August 25th, NYC label Tompkins Square will release the
late Tim Buckleys Live at the Folklore Center, NYC
March 6th, 1967.
album is not, however, just another live set dug up from the
archives. Recorded at a now-extinct Macdougal Street institution
(its now a kebab stand), the tracks are steeped in history.
A former haunt of Bob Dylan, the Folklore Center was a typical
Greenwich Village club in its era a limited amount physical
space, teeming with activity (musical and otherwise). Jim Rooney
offers this description in his book, Baby, Let Me Follow
wasnt a very big place a couple of narrow rooms
strung together. The records and books were out front. There
were instruments on the walls, and there were a lot of people
generally milling around
.With that we went into the
back room, and there was Dylan sitting at a cluttered desk,
banging away on a typewriter
.He was writing like a man
possessed. His feet were bouncing up and down as he talked.
He was on fire.
the venue was typically bustling with artists and patrons
alike, Buckley played that night for a tame audience of 35.
In spite of that, renowned club manager Izzy Young recorded
the show that night and promptly forgot about it. Years later,
something drew the expatriate back to the recording. Young
tells Billboard, I didnt hear the tape for most
of the time Ive been in Sweden at least thirty
years. When I played it for some close pals six months or
so again, I just couldnt believe it, all that fresh
energy, fresh thought.
recordings freshness is, ironically, partially
due to its age. No live Buckley recording this old has ever
been officially released. Each cut captures a young musician,
playing mostly untried tunes for a captive audience. While
most songs from the show can be found on Buckleys self-titled
debut or his sophomore release Goodbye Hello, six of
the tracks have never been released.
as the tracks may be, the set would hardly be listenable without
the help of Grammy-winning sound engineers like Warren Russell-Smith.
According to him, one of the hardest parts of mastering the
recording was silencing and a runny nose. He explains, The
tape noise, drop outs and hums were, at most times, easily
rectified but I could never find that plug-in to remedy a
overcoming its technical shortcomings, Russell-Smith was able
to appreciate the albums intensity. I have worked
on many live performances from yesteryear, but the thing that
sticks out in my mind is the rawness of this performance,
he says. Its fast and furious, he doesnt
dwell too much in between tracks and once hes into a
song its all emotion from there on in.
addition to sixteen pristine live tracks, the albums
liner notes include an interview between Buckley and Izzy
Young. The real deal comes to us after 42 years of rumors
and poor quality bootlegs.
2009 Alex Shoaf/americansongwriter.com