Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Guy Clark, 1941-2016: R.I.P.

This cursed year in which all our best music artists die claims another legend:

NASHVILLE — Guy Charles Clark, the gravel-voiced troubadour who crafted a vast catalog of emotionally charged, intricately detailed works that illuminated and expanded the literary possibilities of popular song, died in Nashville on Tuesday morning after a long illness.

Clark, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer, had been in declining health for years, including a lengthy cancer battle. He was 74 years old, and the author of 13 compelling studio albums.

Clark lived in Nashville but wasn't really a country artist per se, he dwelt in that land that isn't quite rock, isn't quite country, isn't quite folk, that has become known as alt-country or Americana music. Quirky stuff; here's a sampling:

And a concert favorite, "Randall Knife," about a knife owned by his father which, at this moment, probably is still on his home workbench, momentarily forgotten:

He had a workbench because he was a working man in addition to being a working musician; he was a skilled luthier, and made his own guitars.

Let's hope he's greeting his father in Heaven right now, and giving a hug to his old friend Townes Van Zandt, who proceeded him by a dozen years.

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