Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews

Sunday, Oct. 3, 2:30 p.m.
Rooster Stage
Reviewed by Aimee Spanier

Guy Clark wasted no time reminding us just why he is revered as one of the greatest songwriter's of his generation with set opener "The Cape," a reflective song that blends classically-tinged guitar with folksy phrasing into a gorgeous, emotional whole.

Clark is not known for being what you would call exuberant. This year, he seemed more meditative. Back in the hands of its creator, "L.A. Freeway," a melancholy song made famous by fellow outlaw cowboy Jerry Jeff Walker, is even slower, even sadder (if you can believe it), and even more beautiful. "Randall Knife," a sad and ominous song about his father's hunting knife, a piercing song about fathers and sons, sung by an adult looking back with more mature eyes, hushed the crowd. You could hear the trees rustling.

Looking back, it seemed to be what was driving Clark throughout his set. "Seems to me, the last time I was in this park it was 1969. Everything was neon then" he recalled, as a lead in to "Days, Precious Days."

Clark's songs are quiet, not in volume but in presentation, if that makes any sense. He is a man who chooses his words very carefully, it seems, Most of his songs were introduced with a minimum of chatting, and they are such carefully crafted pieces of himself - even the covers - , not much introduction was needed. They explained themselves, and Clark, more clearly than any stage patter could.

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