The Weekender | January 31st - February 2nd

This week, we focus on music, specifically, three really talented singer-songwriters that are from Texas: Guy Clark, Steve Fromholz and Gary Clark Jr.

The Weekender

The Weekender is your guide and open thread for the weekend, presented by the fine folks at Viva The Matadors. Things to quote, read, look, watch, and listen to for the weekend. Let's do this.

This week, we’re focusing on music. After only reading about the Grammy’s on the twitter and deciding that I would briefly live-tweet the Dallas and Detroit game, did I decide that I could do maybe put together some music things that would be entertaining for the weekend. So, this week, we have the story of Guy Clark, the unfortunate death of Steve Fromholz, a musician and a Poet Laureate of Texas in 2007, and the music of Gary Clark Jr.

Quote

From Guy Clark (via GoodReads:

"All these years the people said 'He’s acting like a kid.' He did not know he could not fly, so he did. Well he’s one of those that knows that life is just a leap of faith. So spread your arms, hold your breath and always trust your cape."

And:

"Ain't no chance if you don't take it."

Read

There are people that you know, but you really don't know that they exist until someone writes about them and that was the case with me and Guy Clark, a songwriter who decided to start singing his own songs after writing for Nahsville for a really long time (via Texas Monthly).

The title track to Guy Clark’s most recent album, My Favorite Picture of You, may be the finest song he’s ever written. This is no small feat. For one thing, there’s his catalog to consider. Guy wrote "L.A. Freeway," one of American music’s greatest driving songs and the final word for small-town troubadours on the false allure of big cities. His lyrical detail in "Desperados Waiting for a Train" and "Texas, 1947" presents a view of life in postwar West Texas that is as true as Dorothea Lange’s best Dust Bowl portraiture. When he wrote about the one possession of his father’s that he wanted when his dad died in "The Randall Knife," he made a universal statement about paternal love and respect. Bob Dylan lists Guy among his handful of favorite songwriters, and most of Nashville does too.

And then there’s the equally significant matter of his timing. Those songs were written in the seventies and eighties, when the hard-living coterie of Guy, Townes Van Zandt, and Jerry Jeff Walker was inventing the notion that a Texas singer-songwriter practiced his own distinct form of artistry, creating the niche in which disciples like Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Robert Earl Keen would make their careers. Yet Guy penned "My Favorite Picture of You" a mere three years ago, just after turning 69, an age to which most of his contemporaries had chosen to coast, provided they were still living at all.

Just an incredible profile of Clark and it was one that I really enjoyed reading about his life. And that album referenced above ended up winning a Grammy this past weekend. Clark is also from Monahans.

Look

Typically I try to put links to photosgraphs here, but to get in all of this great music, I present to you the video from Steve Fromholz's Texas Triology. Fromholtz passed away earlier this month after a hunting accident. I honestly had no idea who Fromholz was until he had passed away and I started reading about his life. So here is Fromholz's songs from his famous, Texas Triology, where he wrote three songs about life in Texas. You can read the lyrics here.

Watch

This is Clark's My Favorite Picture of You. You really need to read the story to understand the meaning and why this is so important to him. In fact, I think we all have those faded photographs setting on our desks that remind us of who we love when we're going through the day.

Listen

This is sorta changing directions, but that's fine. I just love listening to Gary Clark Jr. because he somewhat breaks every stereotype and I think that's pretty cool. Clark Jr. played with Keith Urban at the Grammy's last week and that's partly who Clark Jr. is, but he's a lot more than that. He's crazy talented and he was born and raised in Austin, so we're keeping the theme of ridiculously talented singer-songwriters from Texas.

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