Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Deep In The Heart Of Texas...

Guy Clark - Let Him Roll

Townes Van Zandt - St. John The Gambler

Kerosene... that was it, "Poncho and Lefty". Townes hits you with a promise of freedom out on the road with the opening couplet, only to knock you down in the next one by saying it leaves you with flammable breath.

The grumpy old men of Southern Song, Jesus, what a double act. They took turns at the Reading Festival in the early nineties, muttering about the distant rumble on the main stage that was Iggy Pop ("What the Hayull is thayut?" said Mr Clark). Although I barely knew their work then, all of it sank in deep so that when I got around to buying, the songs felt like old friends returning after a good many years on the road. And all of them had hard breath and the thousand yard stare. Some held flowers, some held rocks.

So here's two that will be familiar to some of you, and hopefully a welcome introduction to others. There's great beauty in the best of their work, all the greater for it having to damn well fight to be there. So many great songs have come from them I feel like I'm insulting them with just a few paragraphs, but I think I should just get out of the way.

I could lose years to these guys. Hell, why not? What else am I doing?

Buy - Guy Clark - Old No. 1/Texas Cookin'
Buy - Townes Van Zandt - Drama Falls Like Teardrops
Visit - Guy Clark
Visit - Townes Van Zandt
Visit - Traveltex


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