Editors’ Notes Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest operating dancehall in Texas, and has been a mainstay venue for Jerry Jeff Walker since he moved to the state in the early 1970s. He finally recorded a live album there in December 1988, and fittingly, the venue reflects the qualities of the music. Live At Gruene Hall is intimate and hushed, as if in quiet reverence for the aged dancehall. Whoops and hollers are audible from the crowd in “Lovin’ Makes Livin’ Worthwhile,” but even that song’s spry swing is grounded in a laid-back acoustic shuffle. Meanwhile, “Woman In Texas,” “Long, Long Time” and “Man With the Big Hat” are spare and haunting and sweet. Walker’s hickory voice is at the front of the mix, as if delivering the song like a secret into the listeners’ ear. He finally cranks up the juice on “Trashy Women,” but the set’s symbolic heart is “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight”: “But when I’m real high I play rock ‘n’ roll / I play country when I’m losing control / I don’t play Chuck Berry quite as much as Id like / Now, I feel like Hank Williams tonight.” The song not only reflects the nature of Walker’s songs, but also the rooms in which he sings them.
Lovin' Makes Livin' Worthwhile
Pickup Truck Song
Long, Long Time
I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight
Man With the Big Hat
Quiet Faith of Man
Woman In Texas
10 Songs, 45 Minutes
℗ 2006 Tried & True Music
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