Guy Clark

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Guy Clark

The Dark (Sugar Hill) Even though some say he's lost the ability to keep his music fresh and engaging, for most fans of Texas singer-songwriters, a new album from Guy Clark is an event. With the passing of his close friend Townes Van Zandt, Clark is rightly considered the dean of that special breed of musical poets, and he more than proves he deserves that designation on his latest, The Dark. He's always been a masterful storyteller, matching distinctive melodies with lyrics that catch the human condition in simple yet affecting ways. Here he relates the tales of a wide range of characters like "Arizona Star," a Marilyn Monroe look-alike, and the Civil War soldier in "Soldier's Joy, 1864" who loses a leg and becomes a fiddler. Then there's "Mud" and "Magnolia Wind," songs as breezy and filled with crackling sentiment as any he's ever composed. As is Clark's way, it's all depicted with simple yet well-played acoustic backing provided by the likes of longtime companions Verlon Thompson and Darrell Scott, while Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and Tim O'Brien make guest appearances. As he's often done in the past, there's a nod to his compadre Van Zandt in a rendition of "Rex's Blues" that's appropriately subtle and touching. Although he's made quite a few great albums in his time, The Dark is the equal to any of those, proving Clark's extraordinary talent for songcraft has yet to diminish.

***.5

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Jack Ingram
Midnight Motel (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
Jeremy O'Bannon
Letter Home (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, July 15, 2016

More by Jim Caligiuri
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

Texas Platters
My Jerusalem
A Little Death (Record Review)

July 15, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)