Together at the Bluebird Café

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Together at the Bluebird Café
Earle-VanZandt-Clark-Together at the Bluebird.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedOctober 9, 2001
RecordedSeptember 13, 1995, Bluebird Café, Nashville, Tennessee
Label American Originals
Producer Vinny Adinolfi
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating Favorable [1]
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [2]
Austin Chronicle Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Country Standard TimeFavorable [4]
FiggleFavorable [5]
FolkWax7/10 [6]
FretplayStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Goldmine Favorable [8]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Favorable [9]
Sing Out! Favorable [10]

Together at the Bluebird Café is a live recording of an "in-the-round" concert by three critically acclaimed Texan singer-songwriters, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Each alternates between solo performances.



The event was organized by Susanna Clark (Clark's wife) as a benefit for the Interfaith Dental Clinic, an organization that works to "restore, protect, and improve the oral health of uninsured, low-income, working people and their children in the greater Nashville area." [11] In the liner notes, Clark says, "When I asked Guy, Townes, and Steve to help me raise money for the Interfaith Dental Clinic, I had no idea what a stir it would cause." [12] The clinic is mentioned in the program by Van Zandt who had been a recipient of their services. Van Zandt tells a story of an incident in which he lost a gold tooth while shooting dice.

The recording took place on September 3, 1995, at The Bluebird Café in Nashville, a nationally renowned venue for songwriters. The owner and manager, Amy Kurland, described the show as "one of the best" in 19 years. [12] [13]

The concert took place 15 months before Van Zandt's death. Just as in his Live at the Old Quarter 22 years earlier, Van Zandt's humor, wedged between some very sad songs is a prominent feature. The stripped-down versions of Earle's songs are also unusual. Earle's own live performances and albums rarely offer the listener so many chances to hear his music without the backing of a full band. Clark spends the least time talking between songs, allowing his songs to tell their own stories. Occasionally the artists interact, such as when Clark joins Earle on the "Mercenary Song".

A female vocalist not credited in the liner notes, but apparently Emmylou Harris adds a harmony vocal to Guy Clark's "Immigrant Eyes" and on Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road". [2] Earle names Mark Stuart as the additional guitarist on "Copperhead Road".

Track listing

  1. "Baby Took a Limo to Memphis" (Guy Clark) – 3:31
  2. "My Old Friend the Blues" (Steve Earle) – 3:03
  3. Townes: Introduction to "Katie Belle"  – 1:44
  4. "Katie Belle" (Townes Van Zandt) – 3:13
  5. "The Cape" (Guy Clark, Susanna Clark, Jim Jonosky) – 3:29
  6. Steve: Introduction to "Valentine's Day"  – 1:03
  7. "Valentine's Day" (Earle)  – 3:10
  8. "Ain't Leavin' Your Love" (Van Zandt)  – 2:55
  9. "Randall Knife" (Clark)  – 4:46
  10. "Tom Ames' Prayer" (Earle)  – 3:22
  11. Townes: The Interfaith Dental Clinic  – 4:29
  12. "A Song For" (Van Zandt)  – 3:29
  13. "Dublin Blues" (Clark)  – 4:29
  14. "I Ain't Ever Satisfied" (Earle)  – 4:00
  15. "Pancho and Lefty" (Van Zandt) – 5:22
  16. "Immigrant Eyes" (Clark, Roger Murrah) – 4:08
  17. Steve: Sirocco's Pizza  – 1:42
  18. "Mercenary Song" (Earle)  – 3:02
  19. "Tecumseh Valley" (Van Zandt)  – 4:36
  20. "Copperhead Road" (Earle)  – 3:20


2001 Billboard Top Internet Albums21



yearformatlabelcatalog #
2001CDAmerican Originals4006
2001CD Catfish 214
2004CD Snapper 161

Notes and sources

  1. Matt Bjork, "CD Review: Together at the Bluebird Cafe", About:Country Music (link)
  2. 1 2 William Ruhlmann, "Review: Together at the Bluebird Café", Allmusic (link)
  3. Jim Caligiuri, "Phases and Stages: Texas Platters", Austin Chronicle , January 25, 2002 (link)
  4. Robert Wooldridge, "Country Music CD Review: Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Together at the Bluebird Cafe", Country Standard Time (link)
  5. Kyf Brewer, "Review: Together at the Bluebird Cafe", Figgle (link)
  6. Aaron Barker, "Together recorded live just two years before Townes died", FolkWax, December 12, 2001 (link – requires free subscription)
  7. Marc Greilsamer, "Review: steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark- Together at the Bluebird Cafe", Fretplay (link)
  8. Bruce Sylvester, (Reviews of The Best of Townes Van Zandt ; Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas ; Texas Rain: The Texas Hill Country Recordings ; Together at the Bluebird Cafe), Goldmine , 28:14:573, July 12, 2002, p. 65-66
  9. "CD Reviews", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel December 28, 2001
  10. "Off the Beaten Track: Together at the Bluebird Cafe", Sing Out! Winter 2002
  11. Interfaith Dental Clinic web site
  12. 1 2 Liner notes, Together at the Bluebird Cafe, American Originals (AMO-4006-2), 2001
  13. But it does not appear on the list of Amy Kurland's Dozen Memorable Events at the Bluebird Cafe (which are all earlier events).
  14. Saje Sound / Elliott Federman web site Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine

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