The World of Guy Clark
by Jim Allen | August 3, 2013
"You can't make a f***ing living being a songwriter's songwriter," said Guy Clark in a recent interview, but for better or worse that's the tag he's been stuck with for decades. From his 1975 debut album, Old No. 1, to 2013's My Favorite Picture of You -- which finds the 71-year-old master songsmith still hitting the mark dead center -- Clark has crafted a catalog of trenchant, no-nonsense tunes that find the shortest possible path to the center of the human heart with nary a wasted word or note.
If Clark were an actor, he'd be the craggy, old-school Western hero who travels alone, says little, saves the day, then rides away. Still, his songs have spoken loudly not only to disciples like Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle, but also to the broad array of artists who've tackled Clark's tunes on record (from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to Shawn Colvin and Kenny Chesney). So cross the borders between folk, country, pop and rock, and wander the world of Guy Clark. The appended playlist will help you soak up his own classics, plus the songs of his fellow travelers and musical offspring -- as well as some Clark covers that pay proper tribute to the Texan troubadour's breathtaking body of work.