One is not inclined to speak carelessly about West Texan Guy Clark, since his songs and his records are carefully chosen. He's been recording since the 70s and has eight records to his name. None have been huge sellers, but some of his well-built songs have been, like "Heartbroke" (Ricky Skaggs), "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train," and "L.A. Freeway" (Jerry Jeff Walker). If you've come aboard to read the interview, then it's probably all well known to you.
Whether it is or is not, read on and into what seemed to me a rather reluctant but nevertheless interesting conversation. I don't know Guy personally, though he lives in town. I take him to be a reclusive man when he's not on tour. He builds classical and flamenco guitars in his basement workshop, which is where most of his songwriting also goes on.
Clark writes and plays with deep and talented people who are also good friends. He records with greats like Darrell Scott, Verlon Thompson, and Kenny Malone. Cowriter Shawn Camp and acoustic icon Tim O'Brien also do guest spots on the new record, The Dark, to great effect. (See our interviews with Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott in our archives.)
More has been written about songwriters from TX than from any other place on earth. When people write about them, Guy Clark is always at or around the very top of the list, in the company of Townes and Steve Earle. He is looked to by writers and fans alike for his precise economy, his colorful cast of characters, and well told stories.
We talked briefly on the phone recently, our conversation follows in its entirety. continue to interview