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Guy Clark - My Favorite Picture Of You (Dualtone)
After the sad passing of his beloved wife Susanna in 2012, and with a few of his own health issues to deal with, it seemed for a while that Guy Clark may have reached the end of the road. His last studio album, SOMETIMES THE SONG WRITES YOU, was released four years ago and a star-studded tribute album, albeit a superb jaunt through Guy's impressive back catalogue, signalled the completion of a distinguished musical career. Having seen and met Guy a handful of times, I was one of those fans whose lip started to quiver at the thought that this craftsman's work was done.
And then something wonderful happened. On July 22nd this year, Guy released his fourteenth studio album MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF YOU, presenting eleven brand new recordings, most of which penned by Clark along with such friends as Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp and Rodney Crowell, who all feature on the record.
It's not surprising, considering his recent hardships, that the album has a melancholy feel, the sound of Guy's weathered voice adding to the bitter-sweetness. But no one does melancholic musical storytelling like Guy. Heroes, a song about the mental anguish of a soldier returned from Iraq, is reminiscent of Guy's classic The Randall Knife and comes with as much of a heartfelt punch whilst the album's title track tells the story of the photograph of Susanna Clark which features on the album's cover. Presented with a handful of sweetly performed waltzes such as Cornmeal Waltz and the instant classic El Coyote, MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF YOU is not just another formidable Guy Clark album for the collection but also proof that, when faced with adversity, Guy's your man.