Having previously brought us Ernest Tubb Live 1965, Lost Gold has released the somewhat much less essential but enjoyable Live New Years Eve 1979, capturing Tubb's stage act some 16 years later, from the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas.
He's not in as good form, in terms of his voice or range, but by this time Tubb was able to do his shows on pure style -- "Thanks a Lot" is a perfect opener, a low-keyed but touching introduction, and he sustains that mood with "Half a Mind" and Jimmie Rodgers' "In the Jailhouse Now"; those are merely the prelude to "Waltz Across Texas," his second most-requested song. "Sometimes I Do" shows him still doing great honky tonk-style numbers at this late date, and then taking a leap back to the other end of his career with "Rainbow at Midnight," where his vocal limitations are a bit more obvious, though he still pulls it off, and "Filipino Baby." "Answer the Phone" and "I Love You Because" both come off less well, his voice cracking as it reaches for various notes, while he makes it through "There's a Little Bit of Everything in Texas." He gets partly through "Walkin' the Floor Over You" before the midnight countdown, which includes a now-ironic reference to the American hostages in Iran, and then resumes the song for the finale.
Bruce Eder, All Music Guide