Another great singer songwriter

Apparently Guy Clark, one of the very finest singer songwriters from the state of Texas is seriously ill. If Townes Van Zant is the grand daddy of Texas songwriters, then Guy Clark is the great uncle of Texas songwriters. When I was a younger man, I would eagerly await the release of the latest Guy Clark record and religiously learn half the album, some times more. If I was lucky I would get an early peek at what he had been up to when Jerry Jeff Walker would record one of his tunes. 
Years ago, my good friend Jesse McRae and myself had the opportunity to host a couple of radio shows from CBC Studios in Vancouver BC. The producer gave us free range and we decided we wanted to interview Rodney Crowell , Guy Clark and Townes Van Zant. The folks at CBC set us up with a phone call to Guys house and low and behold, sitting around that table with Guy were Rodney and Townes. We had a great conversation and interview with the three of them about the craft of songwriting. As it so happened, I had recorded Pancho and Lefty, written by Townes on an album I was recording for CBC Radio Canada International so when I was out of the room, Jesse played it for them over the phone. I got back in time to hear Townes tell Jesse that I had nailed it with my arrangement and Guy and Rodney agreed. I don't think my feet touched the ground for a week. So I guess the point of all this is if you are a fan of Texas singer songwriters, or singer songwriters in general, all roads probably lead back to Townes but you have to go through Guy Clark to get there. Get well

3 comments

  • Jesse McRae

    Jesse McRae Bellingham, Washington

    Well said Amigo. One of my favorite memories - '77 I think, maybe '78. I've often thought about the difference between Townes and Guy as songwriters. Of course I love them both. Townes had that mystical, metaphorical, almost scholarly, Leonard Cohen-ish poetic quality about so many of his songs (Pancho and Lefty is a great example, not to mention a great song!). Personally, I've always leaned a little more toward Guy's songs because while they're equally poetic, they're generally more earthy, direct, and grounded, which, to me anyway, makes them more accessable (compare Pancho and Lefty to Randall Knife as a for-instance). The thing that has always amazed me about both of them is that they knew who they were as writers from a very early age and they never tried to be something else. They each stayed true to their vision, and you know how much I value authenticity! Thanks Pal.

    Well said Amigo. One of my favorite memories - '77 I think, maybe '78. I've often thought about the difference between Townes and Guy as songwriters. Of course I love them both. Townes had that mystical, metaphorical, almost scholarly, Leonard Cohen-ish poetic quality about so many of his songs (Pancho and Lefty is a great example, not to mention a great song!). Personally, I've always leaned a little more toward Guy's songs because while they're equally poetic, they're generally more earthy, direct, and grounded, which, to me anyway, makes them more accessable (compare Pancho and Lefty to Randall Knife as a for-instance). The thing that has always amazed me about both of them is that they knew who they were as writers from a very early age and they never tried to be something else. They each stayed true to their vision, and you know how much I value authenticity! Thanks Pal.

  • Peter Graham

    Peter Graham Vancouver B.C.

    Don't forget another of the great ones, Jerry Jeff Walker.

    Don't forget another of the great ones, Jerry Jeff Walker.

  • Cameron Molloy , The Drivin' Wheel

    Cameron Molloy , The Drivin' Wheel

    I like Jerry Jeff a lot, but more than once, he was the artist that delivered Guys songs to w wider audience. Thanks Peter, I miss Vancouver.

    I like Jerry Jeff a lot, but more than once, he was the artist that delivered Guys songs to w wider audience. Thanks Peter, I miss Vancouver.

Add comment