“ A good place to begin remembering the life of Guy Clark, the...

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“ A good place to begin remembering the life of Guy Clark, the singer and songwriter, who died on Tuesday, at the age of seventy-four, is “Heartworn Highways,” a documentary directed by James Szalapski that featured many of the musicians from what was known as the outlaw-country movement of the nineteen-seventies, including Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Young, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Earle. In the film, which was shot in 1975 and 1976, Clark performs a few of his songs, including “That Old Time Feeling” and “L.A. Freeway,” both of which had, a few years earlier, been covered by his friend Jerry Jeff Walker. But what comes through most in the documentary is Clark’s presence; he is tall and strikingly handsome, with fearsome brows, a great mane of brown hair, and slightly busted front teeth. He wears a blue denim work shirt, which would become his signature look for about the next half century, and a silver-and-turquoise ring on his right hand. In the middle of the film, there is an extended scene of Clark, a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, at work repairing a guitar, filing small pieces of bone for the nut and bridge while discussing the particulars of wood glue. The camera zooms in on his hands—big and strong, nicked up a little, and with fine, short nails. They have the plain look of what they were, a builder’s hands. People have said similar things about Clark’s songs, that they were cut and crafted, made for the long run.” - POSTSCRIPT: GUY CLARK, 1941-2016 By Ian Crouch , May 17, 2016

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