For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: Townes, Guy and Ray Wylie at the Three Teardrops
Though the haze I vaguely recall that show, the first but not last time I'd see Townes before his death five years later; there was that woozy eve at the Sons of Hermann in '96, when Butch Hancock opened, and a performance on the Santa Monica Pier, at the old Ash Grove, later that year. But he was in declining health then; he looked like a shadow. It was as though the audience had come to pay its last respects.
But on this epic night -- pristinely preserved here, courtesy that secret stash, or here -- Townes was in fine form, his downers recounted as if each were an in-joke and his laffers offered with a warm shot and a chilled chaser. All the standards are here: "Pancho and Lefty," "If I Needed You," "To Live Is To Fly," "Mr. Mudd And Mr. Gold." Said Townes, he was happy to be there: "I was born in Fort Worth, so it's nice to be on this side of town."
Clark, doing stand-up between songs, also leaves no standard unturned; ah, so that's what "L.A. Freeway" is about. Ray Wylie does his classic ("Loco Gringo's Lament"), Rambo plays a few, then Guy and Townes take the stage for a song swap. It runs two and a half hours, feels about 34 minutes and ought to last you, oh, a lifetime. The perfect sound track for a back-porch eve before New Year's Eve.