This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark
This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark (Icehouse Music)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Dec. 2, 2011
This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark(Icehouse Music)
Tributes either enhance all involved or fail miserably. There's rarely a middle ground. This 2-CD set honors the dean of Texas songwriters' turning 70 by having contemporaries (Jerry Jeff, Willie), protégés (Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett), and other Americana types (Kevin Welch, James McMurtry, Radney Foster) render his songs, 30 in all. Clark's worthy of the adulation, of course, but only a handful of cuts beg for more than that initial spin, and quite a few suck the life out of the song. At the end of the day, you'd rather hear the composer sing his lived-in songs and share his joy or pain. Surprisingly, some of the younger participants (Ron Sexsmith, John Townes Van Zandt II, the Trishas) are the most successful, interpreting instead of copying. This will be filed as an earnest try, dusted every time you dig for Old No. 1 or Dublin Blues.