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Guy Clark Tunes We Should All Know

In honor of Guy Clark’s 73rd birthday on Thursday, November 6 (Happy Birthday, Mr. Clark!), I wanted to make sure we talked to some of our friends about what they feel are the ESSENTIAL tunes by Guy Clark that we should ALL know!

Chris King

Chris King

Singer/songwriter Chris King says his personal essential Clark songs are: “’Anyhow I Love You,’ ‘The South Coast of Texas’ and ‘New Cut Road.’  I think those three songs give a pretty good example of Guy’s writing, which is simple, honest, eloquent, nimble, intelligent, and colloquial all at once.”

I asked Chris if he could sit down with the songwriting legend, what would he ask him?  He laughed and said , “I don’t know if I’m smart enough to ask him any questions that would matter. I think I’d rather just sit and listen to him talk. I’d just sit and try not to say anything stupid!”

William Clark Green says everyone should know “Cold Dog Soup.”  He said the “song is extremely well written and paints a picture of all of his friends.”

Mike Ethan Messick, an incredible songwriter in his own right, explained why he chose the following Guy Clark songs as essential:

“’Dublin Blues’ – Just one of those perfect poems that captures a life well-lived but there’s still something missing. I sing my kiddos to sleep sometimes with this one.

Mike Ethan Messick

Mike Ethan Messick

‘Anyhow I Love You’ – If you’ve ever tried to write a sincere love song and ended up with a saccharine mess, you can really appreciate just how personal and deeply affectionate this one is.

‘Desperadoes Waiting for a Train’ – not telling you don’t already know. This one’s an epic movie maybe even a novel, that you can take in in five minutes. It’ll stick with you forever.

‘Be Gone Forever’ – with Guy you can dig deep. Even most of the fairly obscure ones are winners, but this one’s always resonated with me…the little things are crucially important and should be celebrated, but even the grandest things will be gone someday.”

Cody Braun (Reckless Kelly): “We love Guy and have been lucky enough to play with him several times.  The first show my brothers and I did with our dad was opening for him in Hailey ID around 1986.  Essential tunes? “Home Grown Tomatoes,” “Texas Cookin’,” “Old Friends,” “The Cape.”

Mark Allan Atwood: “When you combine the fact that I come from two generations of writers and a classically trained opera singer, with the exposure I had to B.W. Stephenson, Kris Kristofferson and Guy Clark, all around the same time and impressionable age, you can see that I really was doomed to be what I am.

Mark Atwood

Mark Allan Atwood

Guy’s ‘Old No 1’ came out when I was 13. The vivid characters in the songs is what gripped me. Anyone can tell a story literally but the deft touch employed on that first record to create the living embodiment of the characters in those stories could have only come from a master craftsman. That’s what I think of when I think of Guy’s work. It’s the work of a master song craftsman.”

Such great suggestions!  What are your favorite Guy Clark tunes?

1 Comment on Guy Clark Tunes We Should All Know

  1. Guy never wrote a bad song, maybe some he was still working on. I could say I love almost everyone but my wife’s favorite is “I don’t love you much do I?” Duet with Emmylou Harris. Certainly, there are the standards but also “Staying up all night at the Driscoll Hotel,” Boats to Build, the Carpenter, I guess I COULD go on forever.

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