Guy Clark 

Like Townes Van Zandt, the world-weary captain of Texas songwriters, Guy Clark has been better known among his peers than in the marketplace. His reputation is built on well-crafted songs narrated by windblown characters whose pathos is understated (particularly compared with the scenery-chewing characters of their made-in-Nashville counterparts). Other artists have made hits of his songs: the California kiss-off "L.A. Freeway" (Jerry Jeff Walker); "Heartbroke" (Ricky Skaggs' biggest hit); the autobiographical ode to an oilman, "Desperados Waiting for a Train" (for the Highwaymen). Clark's voice is gruff, but his light fingers lend bluegrass undertones to a supple folk-blues strum. As last year's terrific Somedays the Song Writes You ably demonstrates, his songwriting pen remains as strong as oak.

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