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Cold Dog Soup
     

Cold Dog Soup

by Guy Clark
 
Guy Clark, who with friends Townes van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker defined the Texas mix of folk, blues, country, and rock of the early '60s that was the forerunner of today's alt country scene, knows a lot about writing songs and about singing them. A standout track on this disc is Clark's cover of Steve Earle's tribute to Van Zandt, "Fort Worth Blues," performed

Overview

Guy Clark, who with friends Townes van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker defined the Texas mix of folk, blues, country, and rock of the early '60s that was the forerunner of today's alt country scene, knows a lot about writing songs and about singing them. A standout track on this disc is Clark's cover of Steve Earle's tribute to Van Zandt, "Fort Worth Blues," performed with Emmylou Harris. Clark has lost count of the number of songs he's written himself, but this sparely arranged disc adds a number of keepers to a catalog that includes the classics "LA Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting for a Train." "Cold Dog Soup" is as enigmatic as its title, invoking a time trip to a surreal honky-tonk gathering, while "Fiddlin' Sis Draper" will get you dancin' in admiration for the title character. In "Red River" Clark explores the geographic and emotional landscapes of his family's Texas past, and "Men'll Be Boys" is a humorous take on the foibles of adulthood.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
With guitars strumming, banjos plucking, accordions wheezing, and fiddles sawing behind him, Guy Clark offers another compelling collection of stories of family, friends, and people on society's fringe, living and loving with gusto and no regrets. Typical of Clark's signature style, the mise en scene is a dicey thing: time is liquid; whatever the era, Clark's protagonists search and fight for pretty much the same things. COLD DOG SOUP looks hard and finds beauty in the solitary life ("Water Under the Bridge," "Sis Draper"), solidity in the power of love ("Ain't No Trouble to Me"), continuity in what went before and what it's left to us today ("Indian Head Penny," and the haunting "Red River"). Emmylou Harris joins Clark on harmony vocals that get under your skin, notable among her two appearances here being a laconic, conversational bit on Steve Earle's wistful "Fort Worth Blues." The title song invokes William Butler Yeats, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott -- company in which Clark would never put himself, but there he belongs: The man articulates rare insight when it comes to the American condition.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Cold Dog Soup follows Dublin Blues in its poignant observations of life, love, death, and all the states in between. Clark's voice may be a little worn, but his songwriting skills are sharper than ever here. He uses a group of musicians that revolve around longtime collaborators Verlon Thompson and Darrell Scott and the backing vocals of Emmylou Harris. Clark has become comfortable with co-writing in recent years and Cold Dog Soup's no exception. Three of the cuts were penned with Verlon Thompson, a pair with Jon Randall Stewart, and one with Shawn Camp, who is also part of his band. In addition, there are two new Clark songs and a trio of covers that are awesome and very different interpretations of the originals. There's Steve Earle's "Fort Worth Blues," written as an elegy for their late friend, songwriter Townes Van Zandt; there's a gorgeous read of Richard Dobson's "Forever, for Always, for Certain"; and the album closes with the old-time folk song "Be Gone Forever," written by Anna McGarrigle and Keith Sykes. Performed as a duet, it is one of the most traditional pieces of music Clark has ever recorded. The tragedy "Water Under the Bridge" feels a lot like the folk-blues of Bob Dylan's "Ballad of Hollis Brown," and in its own way is just as harrowing, with the mandolin fills floating around the guitar lines. "Bunkhouse Blues" is a cowboy blues complete with yodels that gets to the high and lonesome better than most bluegrass. "Men Will Be Boys" is a good-time anthem that could have been written and recorded during the Austin era with Jerry Jeff Walker and the rest. Ultimately, Cold Dog Soup is another fine Guy Clark album. He's been on a roll for nearly three decades and shows no sign of resting on his considerable laurels.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1999
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891106328
catalogNumber:
1063
Rank:
50671

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Guy Clark   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Emmylou Harris   Vocal Harmony
Verlon Thompson   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Vocals,Guitar (Resonator),Vocal Harmony
Shawn Camp   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
Darrell Scott   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Accordion,Autoharp,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Mandocello,Guitar (Nylon String),Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Guy Clark   Producer
Verlon Thompson   Sound Effects,Producer
Darrell Scott   Producer
Chris Latham   Producer,Engineer

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