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Tim Buckley - Live at The Folklore Center, NYC: March 6th, 1967 CD (album) cover


Tim Buckley


Prog Folk

3.58 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 235

Imagine a young artist, alone, taking a chair at the Izzy Young's Folklore Center in New York, performing a musical show for a very small crowd, seated on the floor, among periodical journals, books and LP's, and a full hand of musical instruments hanging on the walls. That was the ambience of the iconoclast and legendary place founded in New York City, which served as a nexus for up and coming singers and songwriters during the folk boom of the late 60's. The Folklore Center was recently relocated from MacDougal Street to 6th Avenue, as if physically representing the gradual dispersal of the Greenwich Village folk scene. The year is 1967, and Tim Buckley is somewhere between the relatively orthodox folk-rock of his eponymous debut solo studio album, and the extraordinary personal music that would fill "Goodbye And Hello" and act as a jump-off for the potent explorations that would soon follow to his second album.

So, in March of 1967, just a few months after the release of his eponymous debut solo studio album and a few months before to the recording sessions of his second studio and fantastic album "Goodbye And Hello", which is considered by many his greatest musical work, Tim Buckley, at the age of 20, performed for an audience of only 35 people at Izzy Young's Folklore Center on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village, NYC. The local owner, at the time, recorded the show with a simple recording machine, which was aired in his Pacifica Radio show, and then put it in a closet for nearly three decades. Finally, and only some years ago, Tompkins Square and Tim Buckley's estate put their hands on that rather poor quality bootleg musical material and released this restored version. Thanks God they were able to did that, finally.

Obviously, in 1967, Tim Buckley wasn't a household name in the American musical scene, and I think he never came to be, because he only won a certain aura and status of cult musician after his tragic death, also increased by the also tragic death of his son Jeff Buckley, very well know as a musician too. So, at the time, Tim Buckley had only released an eponymous debut studio album, a year before, and had a follow up for a few months later. So, Tim Buckley at that point, was only a very young artist still developing his own sound and style, with his lyrics and his great vocal gifts.

There have been other Tim Buckley's live albums before this one but this is his first live album with no accompaniment from any other musicians. On this live album we can only hear the sound of Tim Buckley's acoustic guitar and also his absolutely fantastic and unmistakable sound of his unique voice. We can hear the spetial ambience of this live set too.

"Live At The Folklore Center, NYC: March 6TH, 1967" is an album with sixteen tracks. "Song For Jainie", "Wings", "I Can't See You" and "Aren't You The Girl", are acoustic live versions from songs that were released on his self titled debut studio album "Tim Buckley". "I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain", "Phantasmagoria In Two", "No Man Can Find The War" and "Carnival Song", are acoustic live versions from songs that would be released on his second studio album "Goodbye And Hello". "Dolphins" and "Troubadour" are versions of two songs that weren't released on his first studio albums. "Dolphins" is a live version of a Fred Neil's song, a pioneer folk rock musician, re-issued in 1966 on his second studio album "Everybody's Talkin". "Just Please Leave Me", "What Do You Do (He Never Saw You)", "Cripples Cry", "If The Rain Comes", "Country Boy" and "I Can't Leave You Loving Me", are previously six unreleased tracks.

About the tracks and its live performances, it's unquestionably great music, and a fascinating insight of a songwriter's development. As Buckley expands the parameters of his music, you can virtually detect the speed of his development. "Live At The Folklore Center" is blessed with half a dozen songs that have never surfaced anywhere else, in any form, seven that never saw studio versions, if you add "Troubadour". They're all mostly excellent, but you sense that, by the time, Tim Buckley arrived at the "Goodbye And Hello" sessions. So, his ideas had already superseded this batch.

Conclusion: This is a great live album of the end of the 60's. The sound is amazingly good, considering the year and the way it was recorded. Tim Buckley chooses some of his best songs at that time and all the album was fantastically performed by his guitar and voice. About the six unreleased tracks, "Just Please Leave Me" and "What Do You Do (He Never Saw You)" are two very good and interesting songs. "Cripples Cry" and "If The Rain Comes" are two very nice songs, especially "Cripples Cry", which is, at my taste, one of the most beautiful songs composed by him. "Country Boy" and "I Can't Leave You Loving Me" are, in my opinion, two very weak songs that disrupt the quality of the album and despite don't spoil the high quality of the concert, shouldn't have been performed. For those, I was only a child with 8 years old, who were the lucky to have been on that unique Tim Buckley's live performance, imagine what is now the real sensation of have been in that room in that night and have been abble to share that incredible experience of to be part of one of the 35 persons on that magic night. Just really imagine what woul be your feelings if you had been there.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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