There may be better songwriters than Guy Clark-but you can count them on one hand with fingers left over. This disc has him co-writing with some of the best in Nashville-Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell, Steve Nelson, Ray Stephenson and old standbys Rodney Crowell and Verlon Thompson. The result is a project that loses none of Guy's touch, but slightly broadens the musical palate. In addition, there is a greater emphasis on production, making the record sound more like a country record (in a good sense) than a bluegrass or folk record as some projects have sounded in the past.
The disc opens with two exceptional tracks, Walkin' Man and Magdalene. Both benefit from the expanded musical palate and are full of brilliant images. They are followed by Tornado Time in Texas full of Guy's wry sense of humor (when pigs fly, no I mean really fly), Funny Bone a look at the kind of lovable losers Guy can see when others see nothing, and Expose, co-written with Rodney Crowell.
Guy is prone to reprising something he has previously released, and this time we get a full band/production version of Out In the Parkin' Lot. While really nice, IMHO it loses some of the understated elegance it had on Keepers. This is followed by the obligitory Townes Van Zandt tune, and in No Lonesome Tune, Guy has found a song that perfectly fits the mood of this record.
The record closes with a trio of songs that are full of humor and pleasaure. Cinco De Mayo In Memphis a meeting of hispanic culture with Memphis, Analog Girl, about one of those girls who just doesn't fit the digital age and Worry B Gone a tribute to the capacity of smoke to remove the stresses of life. The final track is a duet between Guy and Verlon Thompson on Diamond Joe, sung with "a big old sweep of the cowboy hat" to Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
All in all a very satisfying record. Highly recommend