Guy Clark: Workbench Songs (Dualtone)

 |   |  <1 min read

Guy Clark: Magdalene
Guy Clark: Workbench Songs (Dualtone)

Clark has been one of the pillars of West Texas/Mex-influenced singer-songwriters, and of his dozen or so albums at least half would be in any serious country and alt.country collection.

For this album he sometimes sounds much older than his 65 years, sometimes considerably younger.

That's a measure of how he puts himself into his carefully hewn lyrics (all here co-written with various fellow travellers in the genre). On songs like Funny Bone -- a cello-coloured, speak-sing piece which is an engrossingly sad narrative -- it sounds as if he is sitting on a broken-spring settee in the late afternoon telling you of someone he once knew. Elsewhere he gets metaphorical (Walkin' Man), pensive (Out in the Parkin' Lot), funny ("when you write your expose I wish you'd leave me out") and downhome (the traditional Diamond Joe in a duet with co-producer/mandolin player Verlon Thompson).

As has been his custom he also includes a song by his late friend and influence Townes Van Zandt: this time No Lonesome Tune given an appropriately world-weary treatment.

Analog Girl seems an unworthy lyric, but taken as a whole this is Clark as he has always been: unsensational and bone-bare, and offering sensitively observed tales of life.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes (Sony)

Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes (Sony)

If anyone is long overdue a decent royalty cheque it is the ferociously smart and wickedly funny Chris Bailey, formerly of Brisbane's Saints who delivered the classic pre-punk single (I'm)... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Stockholm, Sweden: Ghosts ships back from the depths

Stockholm, Sweden: Ghosts ships back from the depths

Compared to the maiden voyage of the Vasa, the ill-fated Titanic enjoyed a pretty good first outing a century ago. At least it got in four days of plain sailing before hitting the iceberg.... > Read more

GUEST AUTHOR DAVID VEART argues toys are us

GUEST AUTHOR DAVID VEART argues toys are us

Although many of our toys were produced in factories, others came from the backyard shed and the kitchen table: trolleys, tin canoes, dolls' houses, dolls' clothes, soft toys, made by cash- or... > Read more