Legendary singer-songwriter Guy Clark released his latest album Somedays The Song Writes You earlier this week.
He took some time to speak with us from his home in Nashville before the record hit store shelves and answered our questions about his songwriting, guitars and making the album.
Q: What are some of the highlights on the new album?
A: I like it all, ‘The Guitar’ came out really good, they all have their individual charms. ‘Hemmingway’s Whiskey’ is a really good song.
Q: What does your creative process look like?
A: I get up in the morning, it’s what I do.
Q: Do you have to be disciplined about your writing?
A: At certain times you do, if you have an idea or a little flash of brilliance in sight, write it down immediately and you end up with a pocketful of bar napkins and then the next day you have to sort through it and see if it makes any sense.
And then the process of actually writing the song is the work. And however it comes out, words, music, it doesn’t matter, it’s just trying to have it make sense.
Q: Can you listen to your own material – either someone else covering your songs or listening to your own recordings?
A: When I make a new record I listen to it, make sure it’s what I want it to be. I don’t sit around and listen to my albums, I don’t remember the last time I did that. I like it when other people do my songs, I listen to that.
Q: Your resume is impressive, are there any musicians you haven’t worked with that you’d like to?
A: Not really, I mean, I do exactly what I want to.
Q: Are there things that you always take with you on tour?
A: I usually take a book, but I travel as light as I possibly can.
Q: How do you go about picking the songs that will go onto a record?
A: Whenever I get ten good songs I make an album. I don’t record more than I need. It’s whatever the best songs are.
Q: You’re also an accomplished luthier – is that another outlet for creativity? How did you start?
A: I’ve always worked around with wood, enjoyed it and probably the first cheap Mexican guitar I got I took it apart. I’m not scared of guitars, a lot of people are afraid to change their own strings. It was just a very natural thing for me to want to build a guitar. It’s good fun, very spiritual. I just build for my own amusement.
Q: Can you tell our readers a little bit more about the song writing competition, how did that come about?
A: That’s something the record company wanted to do to get people interested in the album. I’m not really involved in it, whenever they decide who won, they’ll send them to my house.
Q: Anything else people should know about the record?
A: I hope they enjoy it, go buy it.
Photo: Jim McGuire