Live at The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas
Live at The Old Quarter was recorded in 1973 in a small club with broken air conditioning, on a series of sweltering Texan summer nights. Because Van Zandt’s studio albums sometimes feel perfunctory, at the mercy on his producer’s choices, these solo performances are invaluable, putting the spotlight on Van Zandt’s consistently brilliant songwriting. All of his standards like ‘Pancho and Lefty’, ‘Tower Song’, ‘If I Needed You’, and ‘Waitin’ Round To Die’ are included, while there are also songs like ‘Loretta’ that weren’t released on album until 1978’s Flyin’ Shoes. As well as Van Zandt’s own songs, he also throws in covers of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Merle Travis, as well as some charming and corny jokes. Live at The Old Quarter is a rare essential live album, and a perfect summary of Van Zandt’s career.