Classic Americana – Jerry Jeff Walker – Live at Gruene Hall

So I was listening this morning to a little bit of blues and some other stuff and then because it’s now on the iPod I decided to listen to an all time favorite album Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1989 album Live at Gruene Hall. I’m a big Jerry Jeff fan and this may be one of his best all around albums It has a plethora of great songs some self-penned tunes and a lot of great covers.

The album opens with “Lovin’ Makes Livin’ Worthwhile” Jerry Jeff wanted an up beat song to start the album a song that made you feel good and on closer inspection didn’t say anything. I think he succeeded the song makes you feel good and the title says it all!

The next song is “The Pickup Truck Song”. There’s a good intro story about Jeff Jeff and Hondo and Hondo’s pickup and the coasting record! Actually Jerry Jeff lied in the song he had no truck but my dad did and Jerry Jeff’s right half the fun of any trip is getting lost on the way back home!

Gary White’s song “Long Long Time” made popular by Linda Ronstadt follows. Jerry Jeff says in the liner notes that he told Gary he would someday record this song, but he just didn’t tell him when!

“I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight” is the first of three Chris Wall songs on the album and is a favorite song. I’ve already written about this song but I love it every time I hear it!

The next song is a cover of a song that I first heard on an album I picked up in the budget bin at the University of Florida! The original song was written by Steve Fromholz and was on the album From Here to There by Frummox, which was Steve Fromholz and Dan McCrimmon and through the years it’s been a favorite! The song JJW covered was “Man in a Big Hat” and I was surprised to hear it when I first listened to Live at Gruene Hall! But actually I shouldn’t have been because Jerry Jeff sang on the original album! On this track Willie Nelson helps out and it’s a great cover of a song that JJW says “This song shouldn’t get lost

“Quiet Faith of Man” the next track was my introduction to the music of Bill Staines. JJW says he’d been a Bill Staines fan for years and liked his spiritual songs that weren’t pushy. I love the chorus of this song:

You trust the moon to move the mighty oceans,
You trust the sun to shine upon the land,
You take the little that you know,
and you do the best you can,
and you see the rest with the quiet faith of man.

Two JJW originals are next “Little Bird” which has been a favorite since JJW’s Mr. Bojangles album and “Woman in Texas” about his wife Susan who turned his life around!!

The final two tracks are Chris songs the touching and beautiful “Rodeo Wind” about the wanderlust of a rodeo cowboy and the not so touching but fun “Trashy Women”

too much lipstick and too much rouge
gets me excited leaves me feeling confused
I like my women just a tad on the trashy side

So if you don’t know Jerry Jeff and want to hear some great songs by Jerry Jeff, Steve Fromholz, Bill Staines and Chris Wall check out this great album!!

Here’s “The Pickup Truck Song” from the album!