Let’s Raise a Glass to Guy Clark

Guitar with Red Book and Wine on a wooden table.Unless you are really into music — not just what they play on commercial radio stations, but under-the-radar artists, some of whom tour continuously because they have to — you may never have heard of Guy Clark, who passed away last month at age 74.

I first became familiar with Clark’s work through a song called “L.A. Freeway.” But it wasn’t Clark who sang the version I heard. The singer was another troubadour named Jerry Jeff Walker.

 

If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway

Without getting killed or caught

I’d be down that road in a cloud of smoke

For some land that I ain’t bought bought bought

As was the case with many singer-songwriters, libations of various sorts would occasionally find their way into Clark-penned lyrics. Yes, wine included.

 

From “Black Haired Boy”:

He’s looking for a home, he’s scared to find

Some lady beside him and he’s drunk on white wine

Some lady beside him and he’s drunk on white wine

 

From “Let Him Roll”:

He’s a wino, tried and true.

Done about everything there is to do.

It was white port, that put that look in his eye

That grown men get when they need to cry

 

It would be cliché to call Guy Clark a songwriter’s songwriter, and yet it is an apt description of this wonderful lyricist. Ironically, he would not receive a Grammy award until 2013 for “My Favorite Picture of You,” which would be his final album.

I don’t have any white port in the house, but I do have some white wine — which I’ll be uncorking tonight in order to raise a toast to a highly underappreciated songwriter. Rest in peace, Guy Clark.

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One comment on “Let’s Raise a Glass to Guy Clark

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