Luckenbach! Compadres! Reviewed

Luckenbach! Compadres! Reviewed

Luckenbach! Compadres!

(Palo Duro)

When Hondo Crouch purchased downtown Luckenbach in 1970, he transformed the sleepy West Texas hamlet into a mythic music haven of outlaw and gonzo country, a reputation cemented with Jerry Jeff Walker's classic 1973 live recording at the town's historic dance hall, ¡Viva Terlingua! In 2006, 30 years after Hondo's death, artists gathered to celebrate the town's musical heritage with a live recording, resulting in last October's Viva! Terlingua! Nuevo! A week after its release, Walker, who had no hand in the album or performance, handed Palo Duro Records a cease-and-desist order, claiming copyright infringement and misappropriation of his identity. With the legal dispute finally settled this year, the album re-emerged with a new title but was otherwise unchanged and still features a set list culled from both ¡Viva Terlingua! and 1994 Walker release ¡Viva Luckenbach! Better still, Luckenbach! Compadres! raises the bar on Walker's performances by raising the roof of the dance hall, the ball-cap-meets-cowboy-hat crowd's enthusiasm turning the tribute into a true celebration. Walker's original Lost Gonzo Band, including Gary P. Nunn, Herb Steiner, and Bob Livingston, sets the tone by introducing "Gettin' By" with "Hi Buckaroos, it's Gonzo time again!" Texas anthems are the order of the evening, from Morrison-Williams' proclaiming "What I Like About Texas" and Cory Morrow leading the predictable barroom sing-along of "Red Neck Mother" to John Arthur Martinez's laid-back "Viva! Luckenbach!" and the Derailers' exceptional take on "London Homesick Blues." The slower moments are equally charged, Jimmy LaFave offering a beautifully scratchy "I'll Be Here in the Mornin'" and Brian Burns' poignantly plying "Desperados Waiting for the Train," while Kent Finlay silences the dance hall with a reading of Hondo's poem "Luckenbach Daylight." Like the town, the heart of Luckenbach! Compadres! extends far beyond its size.


  • More of the Story

  • Viva Belize!

    You may have to fly to Belize to see Jerry Jeff Walker perform these days; just don't call out any requests

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Doug Freeman
What We're Listening to Right Now
What We're Listening to Right Now
Aaron Stephens, Paul Cauthen, Drakulas, Glasshealer, Pretty Little Thieves, and more local sounds

Nov. 26, 2021

What We're Listening to Right Now
What We're Listening to Right Now
Beats by Balto!, Hayes Carol, Kiko Villamizar, Ley Line, and Colin Clark

Nov. 12, 2021


Jerry Jeff Walker, Luckenbach! Compadres!

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle