Guy has been going a long time now and back in the nineteen eighties his wife, Susanne, came home to find him and Townes van Zandt hopelessly drunk and probably not for the first time. She decided to leave Guy and the album cover depicts him holding a polaroid picture of her soon after she'd packed her bags to go: so he writes in the title song:
"My favourite picture of you
Is the one where
Your wings are showing
Oh, and your arms are crossed
Your fists are clenched
Not gone but going".
Susanne never left him but she died last year aged 73. Guy writes of that time in their life with a tenderness of lyric and a sweet melody underpinned by a haunting cello and a gentle harmony by Morgane Stapleton.
Guy Clark is one of Nashville's most celebrated songwriters, a master craftsman, whose simple songs belie a subtlety of lyric and melody. With the exception of Lyle Lovett's lilting "Waltzing Fool", all of the songs were either written or co-written by Clark. And what songs they are, dealing with the deaths of illegal immigrants ("El Coyote"), the suicide of American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, ("Heroes"), murder ("The Death Of Sis Draper") and songs of love lost, love found, redemption and heartbreak.
These are beautiful songs and the sparse acoustic sound of guitar, mandolin, banjo, cello and violin ghost the melodies to perfection. The sweet voice of Morgane Hayes in harmony with the cigarette stained and whiskey drenched pipes of Clark give these songs a tough but elegant sound to rival his very best work.