In 2006, Guy Clark released his first record with Dualtone, the independent East Nashville-based label that would turn out to house to the final leg of the legendary Texas songwriter’s career. His last albums – Workbench Songs, Somedays the Song Writes You and My Favorite Picture of You, as well as the live LP Songs and Stories – chronicled Clark’s craftsmanship even as his body began to fail him and showed how his mind was still as sharp as the tip of his Randall knife. To memorialize that prolific time, Dualtone will release Guy Clark: The Best of the Dualtone Years on March 3rd, 2017, featuring 19 songs (and three previously unreleased tracks), as the first posthumous offering since Clark’s passing last May at 74.
From more recent Clark classics like “Cornmeal Waltz” and “The Guitar” to live versions of his enduring masterpieces like “L.A. Freeway,” “The Randall Knife” and “Homegrown Tomatoes,” Guy Clark: The Best of the Dualtone Years is a portrait of an artist in motion. Though his debut album, Old No. 1, is one of the most influential and revered records on the folk-country landscape, Clark was still working and collaborating into his seventies, searching for new stories and characters from the basement of his Nashville home, jotting down notes on graph paper and plucking out chords on guitars he had chiseled himself.
Also included on the collection are three demo recordings, “Just To Watch Maria Dance,” “The Last Hobo” and the Marty Stuart collaboration “Time.” “The trouble with time might be the lack of it,” he sings, his voice scuffed and frayed but still as warm as ever, always able to point out the obvious in a way that melds some humor into the harder-to-digest parts of humanity. Clark looked straight into that ticking clock and, instead of wallowing, simply wrote a song.
Guy Clark: The Best of the Dualtone Years will be release March 3rd, 2017. A biography of Clark, Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark, came out in October on Texas A&M University Press.