He's one of the most revered writers to ever roam Music City, and the cream of the musical crop will be paying tribute to the great Guy Clark with the release of "This One's For Him: A Tribute To Guy Clark."
"Guy's songs are literature," says Lyle Lovett, among the venerable artists who eagerly gathered for the album. "The first time I heard Guy Clark, I thought it made everything I'd heard up to that point something other than a song. His ability to translate the emotional into the written word is extraordinary."
Accordingly, Clark's most vibrant ("Instant Coffee Blues") and vivid vignettes ("Desperadoes Waiting for a Train") reel with cinematic landscapes ("The Last Gunfighter Ballad," "The Cape"). Novellas frequently unfold within minutes ("Better Days," "She Ain't Goin' Nowhere").
Clark's singular storytelling chills with striking familiarity ("The Dark"). "Songs are like Japanese painting," he explains. "Less is more. One brushstroke takes the place of many if you put it in the right place. I'm trying to get whoever is listening to think, 'Oh, man, I was there. I did that. I know what that's about.' Too many details take away." Clark's add volumes. Remember that old blue shirt? Mad Dog margarita? June bug on the window screen?
Of course, our passions forever burn brighter for the flour sack cape. Few capture courage as timelessly. "Guy Clark is like a dancer with the way he talks and a photographer with the way he writes," noted Texas indie artist Terri Hendrix says. "He's the epitome of American songwriting."
The set contains 30 tracks by artists ranging from Country Music Hall of Famers Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. A complete track listing is below.
1. That Old Time Feeling - Rodney Crowell
2. Anyhow I Love You - Lyle Lovett
3. All He Wants Is You - Shawn Colvin
4. Homeless - Shawn Camp
5. Broken Hearted People - Ron Sexsmith
6. Better Days - Rosanne Cash
7. Desperadoes Waiting For A Train - Willie Nelson
8. Baby Took A Limo To Memphis - Rosie Flores
9. Magdalene - Kevin Welch
10. Instant Coffee Blues - Suzy Bogguss
11. Homegrown Tomatoes - Ray Wylie Hubbard
12. Let Him Roll - John Townes Van Zandt II
13. The Guitar - Ramblin' Jack Elliott
14. Cold Dog Soup - James McMurtry
15. Worry B Gone - Hayes Carll
1. Dublin Blues - Joe Ely
2. Magnolia Wind - Emmylou Harris & John Prine
3. The Last Gunfighter Ballad - Steve Earle
4. All Through Throwing Good Love After Bad - Verlon Thompson
5. The Dark - Terri Hendrix
6. LA Freeway - Radney Foster
7. The Cape - Patty Griffin
8. Hemingway's Whiskey - Kris Kristofferson
9. Texas Cookin' - Gary Nicholson, Darrell Scott & Tim O'Brien
10. Stuff That Works - Jack Ingram
11. Randall Knife - Vince Gill
12. Texas 1947 - Robert Earl Keen
13. Old Friends - Terry Allen
14. She Ain't Goin' Nowhere - The Trishas
15. My Favorite Picture of You - Jerry Jeff Walker
The collection was lovingly produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Tamara Saviano (Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster)-who is also working with Clark on his definitive biography-and frequent Clark co-writer Shawn Camp ("Sis Draper," "Magnolia Wind"). Part of the proceeds will benefit the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.