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Guy Clark: A Songwriter’s Songwriter

Country-folk legend Guy Clark’s new album, My Favorite Picture of You, is the songwriter at his finest. Garden and Gun talks to Clark about the writing process, his Texas roots and being known as a “songwriter’s songwriter.”

The ever-candid Clark said of that title, “It’s a strange term. It’s flattering, I guess. [But] you can’t make a f**king living being a songwriter’s songwriter.”

Another great snippet from the interview comes in this anecdote about his wife.

“The pinnacle of My Favorite Picture of You is the title track, a love song to his beloved wife of forty years, Susanna, who passed away in June 2012. The picture itself appears on the album’s cover—a Polaroid of Susanna taken more than thirty years ago as she stormed out of a friend’s house, fed up with the inebriated antics of Clark and Van Zandt, who were bombed inside. “We were drunk off our asses; just jerks,” Clark says, chuckling. “Susanna put up with a lot, but there was a point where she would not go past.” Clark had tacked the photo on his wall, where it remains. One day he looked at it, and the song came gushing out of him in a couple of hours. “She had heard the song before she died,” he says, a hint of longing in his voice. “She thought it was about time [I wrote it]. I guess I owed her that one.”

A track from his new album called “Cornmeal Waltz” is also made available by Garden and Gun.

As for me, I grew up with Guy Clark’s rough-hewn voice in my ears, and though he was a favorite of my old man, I couldn’t eschew him. The man could draw a picture with words like no one else. Some of my favorite tunes, “Like Desperaados Waiting for a Train” and “Texas Cookin'” and “Homegrown Tomatoes.” What are some of yours?

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