Ecclesiastical and political pragmatism, with a beat
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Guy Clark was born in west Texas during the first year of World War II. I think we must be related. I love his sly phrasing and picking. This performance of a medley of two songs, "Old Friends" (not Paul Simon's song, but one Clark wrote with his wife and another songwriter) and "LA Freeway," was broadcast on Irish TV in 1990. Jerry Jeff Walker had a hit with "LA Freeway" in the 1970s, when I first heard and loved it.
I don't know how this music -- Clark, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Townes van Zandt, Steve Earle -- got in my blood. I've only been to Texas a few times, including once in the early 1990s, during a presidential libraries conference, when I visited a now-defunct club in Austin, La Zona Rosa, and saw Ely play the R. E. Keen song "The Road Goes On Forever" as a swirling scrum of UT students held their Lone Star bottles in the air. Plus I was with Joe at a show at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano in 1994. It was right after Paul Kelly's opening set (another cousin, from Australia), and we happened to be the men's room at the same time.