The Tim Buckley Archives

Concert Reviews

November, 1967

Blues-Rock Bag Sung By Buckley
California Tenor Enlivens A Quiet Monday Village

By Robert Shelton

Monday nights along Bleeker Street tend to be quiet recuperations. Last night, however, the Main Street of Greenwich Village was enlivened by a complex and frequently brilliant concert by Tim Buckley at the Garrick Theater.

Mr. Buckley is a 20-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist who appears to have inherited Bob Dylan's old tailor, barber and ability to stun his listeners. Beyond that, he owes Mr. Dylan nothing. He is an individualistic, intense and compelling performer in his own vein.

Mr. Buckley, a Californian, was heard in the East last February at the trail-blazing Swarthmore College Rock 'n' Roll Festival. But he has grown considerably since then. He works in blues, modified rock 'n' roll, raga-rock and sonic fantasy excursions for which no generic name has yet been proposed.

The most arresting thing about Mr. Buckley is the range of his voice, a high and sweet instrument that is not quite a counter-tenor, but certainly a tenor to counter with. He uncorked it, at the first of two concerts, in a series of set-numbers of his own, and improvisations that were quite remarkable in their passion and drive.

It would take some study to discuss his lyrics, which alternate between profound poetry and labored, pretentious reaches beyond his literary grasp. But the feeling at this concert was that had Mr. Buckley been singing the New York Telephone Book, he still would have impressed his audience.

Mr. Buckley was superbly accompanied by Lee Underwood on guitar, Carter Collins on percussion and Ian Underwood on piano and organ. The entire group soared mightily in Mr. Buckley's fifteen-minute magnum opus, "Goodbye and Hello," a Jacques Brel-like essay into anger, hope and redemption.

Better than his recordings suggest and still a turbulent and unformed talent, Tim Buckley promises to leave his mark on the pop musical-poetic scene before long.

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