“Buffett I guess. Lightfoot. Warren Zevon. Randy. John Prine. Guy Clark. Those kinds of writers.”
– Bob Dylan (on the question about favorite songwriters asked by Bill Flanagan in 2009)
I have no reason to sit home and write songs all day without going out and playing for the folks. And I have no reason to go play for the folks unless I’m writing new songs so they can sort of feed off one another. And I just try to do the best I can.
Guy Clark doesn’t just write songs, he crafts them with the kind of hands-on care and respect that a master carpenter (a favorite image of his) would have when faced with a stack of rare hardwood.
~Kurt Wolff (allmusic.com)
On May 17, 2016, Clark’s death was announced on his Facebook page.
Guy Clark, the Texas troubadour who blended high wit with pure poetry and turned it into timeless, vibrantly visual songs like “Desperados Waiting for a Train” and “L.A Freeway,” died today at the age of 74.
Desperados Waiting For A Train (FANTASTIC version from the legendary “Heartworn Highways” DVD):
|Birth name||Guy Clark|
|Born||November 6, 1941 (age 74)
Monahans, Texas, USA
|DIED||May 17, 2016 (aged 74)
|Genres||Country, Texas country, outlaw country, folk|
|Labels||RCA, Warner, Sugar Hill, Elektra,Dualtone|
Guy Clark (born November 6, 1941- May 17, 2016) was an American Texas country and folk singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, and performer. He has released more than twenty albums, and his songs have been recorded by other artists including Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, and Rodney Crowell.
“It’s what I enjoy, it gets harder, all the time. It doesn’t fall out of the sky, you know. But I have joy doing the work, I enjoy the creative process. I write and build guitars in the same space, and I find that one is right brain and one is left brain, and they kind of feed off of one another. But, I don’t know. It’s just a way to while away the time until you die.”
– Guy Clark
Guy Clark won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album: My Favorite Picture Of You.
Clark was born in Monahans, Texas and eventually settled in Nashville, where he helped create the progressive country and outlaw country genres. His songs “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train” that helped launch his career were covered by numerous performers.
Guy Clark doesn’t just write songs, he crafts them with the kind of hands-on care and respect that a master carpenter (a favorite image of his) would have when faced with a stack of rare hardwood. Clark works slowly and with strict attention to detail — his output has been sparse since he first signed to RCA in the early ’70s — but he has produced an impressive collection of timeless gems, leaving very little waste behind. His albums have never met much commercial success, but the emotional level of his work consistently transcends sales figures and musical genres. He remains the kind of songwriter whom young artists study and seasoned writers (and listeners) admire.
…read more @ allmusic.com
Old Friends & LA Freeway:
Album of the day:
My Favorite Picture of You (2013):
From Guy Clark’s website:
Clark does not write angry. He writes carefully, shaving off the unnecessary bits until the story’s told. And yet, at the center of My Favorite Picture of You are two striking topical songs. Angry songs. “Well…I think about that stuff,” is all he offers.
“Heroes” was suggested by press coverage of the suicide epidemic afflicting soldiers returning from the Middle East. “They can’t live with what they did and what they saw,” Clark says, an edge to his voice for the first time. “Where’s Woody Guthrie?”
Guthrie comes to the foreground of “El Coyote,” a song about a crooked smuggler of people over the Mexican border. “‘El Coyote’ was about a situation that really happened,” says Clark. “Something spooked the driver, and he just pulled over to the side of the road, left 18 workers in the Texas sun, and walked off. Locked them in, and they all died. I just thought it was something that needed to be addressed. And Noel speaks really good Spanish, been around that all his life, too. So I presented him the idea of writing that song, and he was very helpful.”
Add into the mix a cover of Lyle Lovett’s “The Waltzing Fool,” the song Clark made Tony Brown listen to back when, and the result is a formidable collection of songs.
A testament to the poetry of carefully wrought songs, and a powerful pleasure.
From allmusic.com – Stece Leggett:
Guy Clark’s first album in four years is a wonderfully rough, tough, tender, wise, and gracefully resigned testament to a life lived, a craft followed, and regrets considered, weighed, and given due. Now 71 years old, Clark has been a world-class songwriter for decades, and as My Favorite Picture of You shows, he still is. He’s as sturdy, honest, and truthful a songwriter as you’re ever going to get. Clark’s voice has grown rougher and more wearied, but it perfectly fits the songs here (Clark wrote or co-wrote everything on this album except for his fine cover of Lyle Lovett’s “Waltzing Fool”), songs — some sad, some not so — that look back and remember, and yet that voice still has some hope left in it for a better future, or at least some kind of a future, even if it isn’t better. The title tune is an emotional, confessional beauty about the love of Clark’s life, Susanna Clark, his wife of 40 years, who passed in 2012.
……..read more @ allmusic.com
– Egil & Hallgeir