Buckley Live at the Folklore Center,
NYC - March 6th, 1967
1957, Izzy Young started the Folklore Center on MacDougal
Street in Greenwich Village, which at the time was the epicenter
of the folk music craze. If youve read Bob Dylans
book Chronicles you know that Dylan spent a lot of
time hanging around the Folklore Center when he first arrived
in New York City.
Six years later, Young had to move his store to Sixth Avenue,
which was somewhat removed from what was going on in the Village.
In order to keep his dream alive, Young began to host concerts
in his second-floor location.
February of 1967, Tim Buckley walked into the Folklore Center
for the first time. Buckley was about to start work on his
second album for Elektra Records, Goodbye and Hello.
His self-titled first album had been released the previous
year. After spending some time speaking with the young folksinger,
Young was so taken with him that he decided that Buckley should
do a concert at the Folklore Center, despite the fact that
Young had yet to hear him sing.
concert took place on March 6, 1967. About 35 people were
crammed into the small space. The concerts werent usually
recorded, but Young did have a Nagra tape recorder, which
he loaned out for people to make field recordings
of real folk music. Young asked Buckley is he could record
the set for his Pacifica radio show, and Buckley readily agreed.
There were no microphones, or mixing consoles, or monitors,
or pa speakers. Young merely pushed the button on the recorder.
Young moved to Sweden in 1973, and the tape reels sat on a
shelf for many years. Now Tompkins Square Records has released
Tim Buckley Live at the Folklore Center, NYC: March
6, 1967. The entire 16 song performance, which includes
six Buckley songs that have never appeared on any live or
studio album, is here. Somewhat miraculously, it sounds great.
Buckley is armed only with his guitar, a bunch of great songs,
and that extraordinary voice of his.
opening his set with Song For Jainie (Buckleys
then girlfriend), we hear him ask if he should sing in the
direction of the recorder, or if it will just pick him up.
Assured that the recorder will pick him up, he tears into
the first song with a burst of energy that doesnt subside
for the entire set. He strums his guitar with a manic fury,
and that voice is simply one of the most amazing instruments
in the canon of folk music. Theres a beautiful and mesmerizing
version of Troubadour which didnt appear again
on a Buckley album until the 1995 release of Dream Letter:
Live in London 1968.
at the Folklore Center, NYC: March 6, 1967 is nothing
less than a precious gem that has, against all odds, been
recovered, shined up, and made available to the public. I
have long since given up hope that Tim Buckley will ever receive
the recognition that he never quite achieved in his lifetime.
He was a restless artist, never sticking with one style long
enough to build a solid base of fans. Future excursions would
take him far from the accessible folk music of his early albums.
Tim Buckley fans will certainly enjoy this album, and my hope
is that it will garner him some new fans who will continue
to spread the word about this gifted artist who was taken
from us far too soon.
Shane is the New Music Editor at popdose.com.
can see his review of the 2011 release
'Tim Buckley -
Deluxe Edition' here.
2009 Ken Shane/popdose.com