The Pure, Everyday Poetry of Guy Clark

Listen: Tamara Saviano was enchanted by Clark’s music from an early age.

By Leah ScarpelliOctober 11, 2016 12:22 pm,

It’s been almost five months since the world lost a native Texan, and a musical storyteller considered one of the greatest of his time.
Grammy-award winner Guy Clark was never really a household name, but with songs like Dublin Blues, Desperadoes Waiting for a Train and L.A. Freeway, he was considered by his peers to be a genuinely consummate songwriter – and the last of a fast-fading breed of Texas troubadours.

It was the purity of the poetry that captured Tamara Saviano’s interest so long ago, years before she ever met Guy Clark. She’s the author of the biography he never got to read, “Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark.”

Texas songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard once compared Texas music to religion, but Clark had a certain romanticism that he almost willfully seemed to deny himself on some level.

“When you listen to his songs, to me they are very spiritual because they put you in a certain place in time,” Saviano says. “Randall Knife, a song about his dad – how much more spiritual and loving could that be?

“He wrote what he was feeling at the moment, what he wanted to write at the moment and didn’t think about how we’re all connected to each other – maybe in this life and the next life, like some of us do. It was just ‘Well this is now, and this is what’s happening now. And my father died and I wrote this song for him. Period.’ Yet they were just these beautiful pieces of poetry.”

To hear more about Guy Clark’s life and music, listen to the audio player above.