Guy (Indies Only)

Steve Earle And The Dukes

SKU: NW5297LP

Barcode: 607396529711

22.00 £22.00
  • Genre: Americana / Country
  • Label: New West
  • Released Date: 26th March 2019
  • Buying Format:
    2LP Coloured Vinyl Gatefold Sleeve Includes Download Code
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Steve Earle was nineteen and had just hitchhiked from San Antonio to Nashville in 1974. Back then if you wanted to be where the best songwriters were, you had to be there. Guy Clark had moved to Nashville and if you were from Texas, Guy Clark was king. Years later, Steve would be playing bass guitar in Guy’s band and flying high on what would become an indelible friendship of likeminded musicians who bonded in a kinship of stories told through song.

Flash forward more than forty years to May 2016. Guy Clark had just succumbed to cancer after a long battle with Lymphoma. Guy had lived with his disease and had continued to write songs until the day he died. He also painted, built instruments and owned a guitar shop in the Bay Area. According to Earle, “You hung around with him [Guy] and knew why they call what artists do disciplines. Because he was disciplined.”

The same can be said of Earle. In the fall of 2018, Steve and The Dukes went into House Of Blues studio in Nashville and recorded ‘Guy’ in six days. “I wanted it to sound live… When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.”

Earle and his current, perhaps best-ever, Dukes line up take on these songs with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. The tunes are all over the place and so is the band, offering max energy on such disparate entries as the bluegrass raveup ‘Sis Draper’ and the talking blues memoir of ‘Texas 1947’. Earle’s raw vocal on the sweet, sad ‘That Old Time Feeling’ is heartbreaking, sounding close enough to the grave as to be doing a duet with his late friend and mentor.

You can hear little hints of where Earle came from. The stark ‘Randall Knife’ has the line “a better blade that was ever made was probably forged in Hell,” which wouldn’t be out of place in a Steve Earle original. Also hard to beat is ‘The Last Gunfighter’, a sardonic Western saga to which Earle offers a bravura reading of the chorus: “the smell of the black powder smoke and the stand in the street at the turn of joke.”

In the end, however, ‘Guy’ leads the listener back to its beginning, namely Guy Clark, which is what any good ‘tribute’ should do. ‘Guy’ is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. We are lucky that Earle remembers and honours these things, because like old friends, ‘Guy’ is a diamond.

Gatefold double LP on 150g vinyl.

Digital download album.

Also available to independent retailers on gatefold double LP on 150g blue coloured vinyl.

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Track Listings

Dublin Blues
L.A. Freeway
Texas 1947
Desperados Waiting for a
Train
Rita Ballou
The Ballad of Laverne
and Captain Flint
The Randall Knife
Anyhow I Love You
That Old Time Feeling
Heartbroke
The Last Gunfighter
Ballad
Out in the Parking Lot
She Ain’t Going Nowhere
Sis Draper
New Cut Road
Old Friends

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