Van Zandt: "Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas"
Van Zandt is better regarded as a songwriter than as
a performer, and not without reason -- he was a peerless
lyricist with a singular ability to capture the landscape
of the heart and soul in words, but while he was a fine
singer he wasn't exceptional, and the ravages of alcohol,
tobacco and drugs took a fearsome toll on his voice
in his last years. But Van Zandt could work magic in
front of an audience under the right circumstances,
and while a wealth of live recordings of Van Zandt have
emerged since his passing on the first day of 1997,
Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas ranks with the
very best of his concert albums. Live at the Old Quarter
is simple and spare, capturing Van Zandt in a 1973 solo
performance at a Houston saloon with just his acoustic
guitar for company, and the engineering ably captures
the ambience of the room, with the audience clearly
caught up in the spell of these songs. "
Meters: "Fire On The Bayou"
"The Meters defined New Orleans funk, not only on
their own recordings, but also as the backing band for
numerous artists, including many produced by Allen Toussaint.
Where the funk of Sly Stone and James Brown was wild,
careening, and determinedly urban, The Meters were down-home
and earthy. Nearly all of their own recordings were instrumentals,
putting the emphasis on the organic and complex rhythms.
The syncopated, layered percussion intertwined with the
gritty grooves of the guitar and organ, creating a distinctive
sound that earned a small, devoted cult during the '70s,
including musicians like Paul McCartney and Robert Palmer,
both of whom used the group as a backing band for recording."