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.
Sometimes it seems that Guy has been making the same album over and over for 40 years. This of course is no bad thing. Here again are 10 original songs (all great) and a Lyle Lovett cover. The band are great and there is a greater variety to the musical settings than I was expecting. Morgane Stapleton's lovely harmony vocals are of particular note. Best album since Old No. 1? That would be splitting hairs but a good case could be made. Buy with confidence and enjoy!
Guy has been making amazing music from the very beginning. I thought nothing could top the total musicality of his previous release "Somedays you write the songs". But this has blown me away! From start to finish there are 11 masterful tracks where the weather beaten voice is supported by guitars & fiddle that blend into one. His voice has so much meaning and you feel the pathos throughout. This man in this genre is in a class of his own. Buy it and you'll wear it out.
A wonderful album from a great songwriter. He may be in his 70s but he can still write and sing some good stuff. 11 great tracks of country/americana as it should be. . Heroes and Rain in durango are my personal favorites with the 9 other tracks not far behind!! Buy it!!
This sadly underrated writer has never been better in his long career than on this the first album released after the death of his wife last year. Clark once again proves himself a superb storyteller and every song is finely crafted with my own favourite the exquisite opening track "Cornmeal Waltz". An essential purchase for lovers of good as opposed to manufactured music.
Guy Clark has been an outstanding songwriter for over forty years and recent tough and testing times leave their mark on this record which is deeply personal and moving but also full of humour and charm. The man personifies grace and dignity. Wonderful playing too.