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1.Baton Rouge (2:49) 6.Ramblin’ Jack and Mahan (3:53)
2.Picasso’s Mandolin (2:56) 7.I Don’t Love You Much Do I (2:41)
3.How’d You Get This Number (3:36) 8.Jack of All Trades (3:41)
4.Boats to Build (3:49) 9.Madonna w/Child ca. 1969 (3:01)
5.Too Much (2:55) 10.Must Be My Baby (2:54)

Liner Notes
Ben Sandmel
(Ben Sandmel is a New Orleans based drummer, journalist and folk lore researcher)

"All of my songs are personal, some are historical or chronological narratives; others are more impressionistic. But that doesn’t make one song truer than another. They’re all true-it’s all stuff that has happened to me, either literally or metaphorically."

For the past two decades, Guy Clark’s truthful, insightful and brilliantly crafted songs have enriched contemporary music. Some of them, such as "Heartbroke," "Desperados Waitin’ for a Train," "Oklahoma Borderline," "She’s Crazy For Leavin’" and "The Last Gunfighter Ballad" have scored hits for a host of country artists including Ricky Skaggs, The Highwaymen, Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell. But while Clark is based in Nashville, and his impact is strongest in country cirlces-mainly as a writer, his six prior albums notwithstanding -his talent transcends the parameters both of country music, and songwriting in general. At their best, Clark’s perspective vignettes and succinct character studies encapsulate the spirit of such fine American novelists as John Steinbeck, Nelson Algren and Cormac McCarry. In that same earthy, unpretensious tradition, Clark’s profound moments are balanced with plenty of material that’s lighthearted and fun.

Clark performs these gems with minimal, less-is-more accompaniment. "I see myself as a folk singer," he comments. "I never played with a band when I was younger. When there’s too much instrumentation the songs get lost." His singing is simultaneously street-wise and poignant, with a Texas accent and a Texas/hipster sensibility. It’s not a commercially- conscious style, and successful renditions of his songs have not made Guy Clark a slick source for sure-fire hits. But the genuine and often compelling music that Clark creates has earned him deep respect in the country/folk community. Often cited as a major influence on sucg accomplished progressive-country songwriters as Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, and Nanci Griffith, Clark comments, "It’s flattering. I hope that the good parts of what I do are an influence on ‘em. But only o the extent that they take it and make something of their own."

Clark’s songs often focus on working people, reflecting his own diverse history. "I’ve done a lot of things - carpentry ... drafting structural steel ... art director at a TV station ... unloading boxcars of terrazzo marble. I worked in the Dopera Brothers dobro factory in California. I also built about 15 classical guitars myself, and I used do guitar repairs. That’s something you have to devote your life to, you can’t do it half-assed. I still keep a workshop to piddle around in, though. I love to work with my hands."

Besides mastering the intricasies of guitar-making, Clark worked in a shipyard, and various aspects of the experience are reflected in several of his songs, including "Boats To Build," "Blowin’ Like A Bandit" and "The South Coast of Texas." "It was a summer job during high school," he recalls. "They were building the last big wooden shrimp boats that were made before they switched over to steel. I was really impressed by the pride that the carpenters took in their craftsmanship, and their attitude that ‘faster is not always better.‘ When you’re building with wood every little piece is different, and you have to put more care into it that just working by the hour. I try to take that same approach with my songs, as far as quality taking precedence over quantity. I can’t crank out cookie-cutter songs. I write ‘em for me, and everyone is different. Somebody called me once and said, ‘So and so is recording next week, we need some songs, write me another ‘Heartbroke.’ I might have done it if I could, ‘cause there’s big money to be made. But I can’t. I have songs that I’ve worked on for years and years that finally come to fruition. Songs like ‘Baton Rouge,’ ‘Ramblin’ Jack and Mahan,’ and ‘I Don’t Love You Much, Do I.’ I held on to them and kept tinkerin because I knew they had good parts; I didn’t want to throw those parts away just because the song wasn’t working."

Clark’s slowly-evolving compositions reveal a gift for speaking volumes in the span of a few short verses. This eloquent articulation can be traced in part to his parents, who were more literary than musical. "I was born in West Texas," he recalls, "in a little town called Monahans, between Pecos and Odessa. In sixth grade we moved to Rockport, on the Texas Gulf Coast. My dad was a lawyer, and my mother encouraged us to take an interest in the arts. When my parents were going to high school part of the cirriculum was choral reading - fifteen or so kids reciting poetry in unison. It’s a beautiful sound. We had a radio but it was definitely the pre-TV era. We would read poetry most evenings, things by Robert Service and Steven Vincent Benet. My parents weren’t musicians but they loved dancing to the big band sound, the music of their youth."

Although Clark’s lyrical skills were nurtured early on, he didn’t begin playing until his late teens. "My father’s law partner, Lola bonner, played Mexican music. When I hear her play guitar the attraction was just instantaneous. It was so beautiful and mystical. The next time I went to Mexico I bought a cheap guitar. I came back and learned everything I could from her; the first songs I learned were mostly in Spanish. When you live in South Texas, there are so many musical styles that you’re exposed to and influenced by - blues, country, Cajun, and Mexican, as well as the music of the European people who settled there, people from Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Poland."

"After I got out of high school I went to several different colleges and wound up in Houston. I got involved with John Lomax, Jr. and the Houston Folklore Society, and the local folk-club scene. I was really lucky because when I first started playing I got to hang out with, listen to, and sit right in front of these great old blues players like Mance Lipscomb and Lightnin’ Hopkins. It was a great time, ‘cause I was also hanging out with guys like Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, and the Thirteenth Floor Eleveators. Very influential stuff."

"Those blues singers were a big influence [on] me, I love that music. I usually put atleast one bluesy song on every album; there a three on _Boats to Build_: ‘How’d You Get This Number,’ ‘Must Be My Baby,’ and ‘Too Much.’ And ‘Texas Cookin’, the title track from my second album, is a direct draw on that Mance Lipscomb country-blues guitar style."

Following his first taste of public performance on Houston’s folk circuit, Clark moved to the Bay Area in the late 60’s. "it was the end of the hippie deal," he recalls, "the real flower children had grown up and it was mostly speed and bikers. I played in some little clubs in North Beach, and repaired guitars.’ Returning to Houston, Clark spent a year as a television-station art directory. "It came easy to me," he says casually. "I was playing at night, but I hadn’t decided to try music full-time. Televisison is relentless. There’s no such thing as ’five more minutes’ - it goes on the air NOW. I could do it and do it well, buit I started wondering, "Why?"

Clark’s eventual commitment to music was strongly encouraged by his wife. A song writer and artist, like Guy, Susanna Clark has created album-cover paintings for Willie Nelson’s _Stardust_ and Emmylou Hariss’ _Quarter Moon In A Ten-Cent Town._ She has also written such succesful country songs as "I’ll Be Your San Antone Rose," "Easy From Now On." and "Come From The Heart." "I’ve learned a lot from Susanna," Guy Says, "because I’m pretty uptight and compulsive, with an attitude like ‘If you’re painting you have to wash out every brush, you have to take care of your tools,’ and she looks at it like ‘This ain’t about cleaning brushes, dumb-ass, it’s about painting. Just do it.’ That approach is the idea behind ‘Picasso’s Mandolin.’ I need to remind myself that it’s alright to be spontaneous, to reaffirm it- I’m not preaching to anyone but me."

"I have lots of ways of tricking myself into writing songs," Clark divulges. "For a while I only wrote in hardbound cloth journals, but then the books became more important than the songs, so I started writing on paper with just the right texture, using just the right softlead pencil. That way you can put old and new pages next to each other. Lately I’ve been using a fountain pen; I may try colored paper next. Sometimes I set up two tables, with a swivel chair between ‘em. I’ll write for awhile and then turn around and paint, or build a model airplane, or throw darts. It’s easy to overload on the cerebral aspects of writing. I’ve found that some activity involving hand-eye coordination gives each side of the brain a chance to catch it’s breath. I also have a little office available to me- that’s a misnomer really ‘cause it’s just a garret overlooking Music Row. Not even big enough for a dart board. I’ll go there sometimes if I’m spending too much time at home, goofing off, watching TV, and generally doing anything too keep from writing. Whatever you can do to trick yourself into writing is fair. The office isn’t the point. The paper isn’t the point. The point is writing. "Townes Van Zandt is one of the reasons I started writing songs. He writes serious, he writes seriously funny. But he never rhymes moon-june-soon to make a buck, it’s more of a literary approach. His work is a great yardstick. He consistently keeps me honst, he showed us all ho to write better songs - me, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Mickey Newbury, Billy Joe Shaver, and everyone who picked up a guitar afterwards.

"To me, what makes great songs is involving individuals and letting them experience it in their own heads. It’s about emotions, not the details. That’s been true forever, since ‘Greensleeves.’ I’m only responsible for what I feel, but if people connect with it, or it mirrors their experience (or they want it to), or it makes a difference to ‘em - that’s why I do this, and if I’ve done it right, they’re gonna get it."

"Something else that’s important," Guy Clark concludes, "is dignity. You’ll see that idea in some of my songs, people surviving, and doing it with a sense of humor and a sense of dignity. you can’t take yourself too seriously, but you can’t blow it all off, either. There’s got to be a healthy mix. And I’ll bet that when you’re dying, you’re not going to think about the money you made. You’re going to think about your art."

Baton Rouge
Guy Clark/ J.C. Crowley

I’m gonna leave Texarkana
I’m goin’ down to Louisiana
I’m gonna try my luck in Baton Rouge
I’m gonna follow ol red river down
til I see the lights of town I ain’t gonna get no sleep in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Baton Rouge
I’m gonna get me some alligator shoes
Baton Rouge Baton Rouge
I’m gonna wear ‘em out in Baton Rouge

It was a Texas girl that broke my heart
then she tore my truck apart
I guess I’ll get me another in Baton Rouge
I like Crawfish I like rice
I like girls that treat you nice
I’m gonna find me one in Baton Rouge


I’m gonna learn to walk that walk
I’m gonna learn to talk that talk
I’m gonna learn to dance in Baton Rouge
Ain’t life just like a cul-de-sac
I’m a Texas boy and I’m goin’ back
Soon as I catch my breath in Baton Rouge


I’m gonna strut mt stuff in Baton Rouge
I’m gonna cool my heels in Baton Rouge

Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar
& harmony vocals; Kenny Malone drums; Sam Bush, mandolin; Jerry
Douglas, Weissenborn slide guitar; Brian Ahern, rhythm guitar

Picasso’s Mandolin
Guy Clark/ Radney Foster/ Bill Lloyd

Picasso said in 1910
I’m gonna paint me a mandolin
could be cubes it could be curves
I like to mix the paint with nerve
I’m gonna load my brush and fire away
paint me a hole in the light of day

You can play it straight or play it from left field
you got to play it just the way you feel
come on boys and play it again
play it on Picasso’s mandolin

Well it’s colorin’ books and drinkin’ wine
it’s hard to stay between the lines
ain’t no rule if you don’t break it
ain’t no chance if you don’t take it
he said the damnest thing he ever heard
was tryin’ to learn to sing from a mockinbird


Picasso said before he died
there’s one more paintin’ I’d like to try
the doctor held his breath and then
Picasso nailed a mandolin
he’s born in Spain and died in France
he was not scared of baggy pants


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar;
Kenny Malone drums & conga; Sam Bush, mandolin; Bill Caswell, jaw harp;
Bill Lloyd & Radney Foster, harmony vocals

How’d You Get This Number

Sorry ‘bout your mama
sorry ‘bout your paw
sorry ‘bout the business
with your brother-in-law

Hard cheese about the money man
hard cheese about the stock
hard cheese about you bein’
up to your ears in hock

Tough luck about your luggage tough luck about your socks
tough luck about the way
that the other shoe drops

Too bad about your girlfriend
too bad about your wife
too bad about the thing
you call the rest of your life

How’d you get this number man
who do you think you’re talkin’ to
who do you think your kiddin’
what do you want me to do
how’d you get this number man
please don’t make me laugh
you know you oughta be on TV
with a line like that

I heard about the car wreck
I heard about the fight
I heard about the time
you’s in jail all night

I know you don’t like trouble
I know you don’t like to fight
I know that you can argue
with a fence post all night

I heard about the lamp shade
I heard you had it on your head
I heard you told a joke and
knocked the whole room dead

No kiddin’ ‘bout the cough syrup
no kiddin’ ‘bout the junk
no kiddin’ ‘bout you been
in a deep blue funk


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar; Kenny
Malone drums & snaps; Jerry Douglas, Weissenborn slide guitar

Boats to Build
Guy Clark/ Verlon Thompson

It’s time for a change
I’m tired of that same ol same
the same ol words the same ol lines
the same ol tricks and the same ol rhymes

Days precious days
roll in and out like waves
I got boards to bend I got planks to nail
I got charts to make I got seas to sail

I’m gonna build me a boat
with these two hands
it’ll be a fair curve
from a noble plan
let the chips fall where they will
cause I’ve got boats to build

Sails are just like wings
the wind can make em sing
songs of life songs of hope
songs to keep your dreams afloat


Shores distant shores
there’s where I’m headed for
got the stars to guide my way
sail into the light of day


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar &
harmony vocals; Kenny Malone drums & percussion; Sam Bush, mandolin;
Jerry Douglas, Weissenborn slide guitar

Too Much

Too much workin’ll make your back ache
too much trouble’ll bring you a heartbreak
too much gravy’ll make you fat
too much rain’ll ruin your hat
too much coffee’ll race your heart tick
too much road’ll make you homesick
too much money’ll make you lazy
too much whiskey’ll drive you crazy

Too much just ain’t enough
too much ain’t near enough
breathin’s bout the only thing
I do too much of ain’t enough

Too much limo’ll stretch your budget
too much diet’ll make you fudge it
too much fluff’ll make you show it
too much pressure’ll make you blow it
too much onion’ll make you weepy
too much preachin’ll make you sleepy
too much Mexican food’ll fill you
too much honky tonk’ll kill you


Too much hot rod’ll get you a ticket
too much dog’ll make you kick it
too much hidin’ out’ll find you
too much you-know-what’ll blind you
too much wrist watch’ll make you hurry
too much waitin’ll make you worry
too much smokin’ll give you cancer
too much cocaine ain’t the answer


Too much walkin’ll wear your shoes out
too much juice’ll blow your fuse out
too much time’ll fill your hands up
too much speed’ll wire the band up
too much chip’ll bruise your shoulder
too much birthday’ll make you older
too much map has always lost me
too much fun has always cost me

Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar
& harmony vocals; Kenny Malone drums & percussion; Lee Roy Parnell, National
slide guitar; Suzi Ragsdale, harmony vocals

Ramblin’ Jack and Mahan

Now a Ramblin’ Jack Elliot said:
I got these lines in my face
tryin’ to straighten out the wrinkles in my life
when I think of all the fools I’ve been
it’s a wonder that I’ve sailed this many miles

To which Larry Mahan replied:
he said, "the sweet bird of youth
was sittin’ on my shoulder yesterday
but she’s always changin’ partners
and I always knew she’d up and fly away"

Stayin’ up all night
in the Driskill Hotel
Ramblin’ Jack and Mahan
was cowboyed all to hell
the room smelled like bulls
the words sound like songs
now there’s a pair to draw to boys
I would not steer you wrong

So ol’ Ramblin’ Jack said:
he said, "I recall a time
I set my soul on fire just for show
all it ever taught me was
the more I learn the less I seem to know"

Ol’ Mahan crawled out from behind a couch and said:
"Jack, as far as I can see
mistakes are only horses in disguise
ain’t no need to ride ‘em over
’cause we could not ride them different if we tried


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitars &
harmony vocals; Kenny Malone, drums & conga

I Don’t Love You Much Do I
Guy Clark

I don’t love you much do I
just more than human tongue can tell and that’s all
I don’t love you much do I
remember how I kissed you in the hall

See how it sparkles in my eyes
I couldn’t hide it if I tried, that’s right
I don’t love you much do I
just more than anything else in this whole world
I don’t love you much do I
just more than all the stars in the sky
I don’t love you much do I
I think you hung the moon and that’s alright


I don’t love you much do I
you can feel it all the way across the room
I don’t love you much do I
like the spring doesnt make the flowers bloom
I don’t love you much do I
I’d follow you to hell and back again
I don’t love you much do I
Just watch me light up when you walk in


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Emmylou Harris, vocals; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon
Thompson, guitar; Kenny Malone, drums & percussion; Marty Stuart, mandolin

Jack Of All Trades
Guy Clark/Rodney Crowell

Now I don’t mind workin’ hard
you can’t burn me down
they ain’t made a job
that I can’t work my way around
sometime I do it for the money
sometime for the galmour
sometime I ues my head
sometime I get a bigger hammer

I worked on the railroad
I worked in the fields
I’m a stepple jack and it’s a fact
I drive anything on wheels
I can frame a house drive pilin’
pour that wet concrete
take a weldin’ rig and build a bridge
and I can do it in my sleep

I’m the jack of all trades
I love every lick I get
if I ain’t got the job done son
I might not want to quit
I’m the jack of all trades
that makes me the boss
you gonna get your money’s worth
no matter what it costs

I don’t work assembly line
doin’ the same ol thing
same ol shop the same ol clock
playin’ the same ol game
I don’t want no desk job man
it don’t suit my clothes
I don’t need no engineer
just to show me how it goes
hmm hmm show me how it goes


There ain’t no need to do a job
it I can’t do it right
I may not be gettin’ rich
but I’m sleepin’ good at night
some call me a gypsy
some call me a flake
but I’ll kiss your ass if I don’t earn
every dime I make


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, hot guitar;
Kenny Malone, drums; Sam Bush, hot mandolin; Rodney Crowell, harmony vocals

Madonna w/Child ca. 1969
Guy Clark

Oh the beautiful red-haired
Madonna with child
sat on the curb
wearin’ a smile
that doubled up the years
and troubled the miles
and comforts the babe
in the softest of style
She woke up in San Francisco
on the day she turned 16
Haight St. was somethin’ then
hey man you should have seen
and she took up with this drummer
in some goodtime Texas scene
and she loved him till the day they
shipped him back home to Killeen
She said she danced up in North Beach
when the need arose
she’s tryin’ to start a little trade
of makin’ people clothes
to feed the child and pay the rent
and everybody knows
she’s a little hard for 21
but that’s the way she goes
She’s livin’ on next to nothin’
and memories from the past just a fading flower child
tryin’ to make it last
she’s got answers to some questions
I would not dare to ask
survival’s never graceful
when the changes come that fast

Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar; Kenny
Malone, drums; Sam Bush, mandolin; Bill Lloyd, guitar

Must Be My Baby
Guy Clark

Frankie D. said he got it
straight from Roger Miller
life’s just like takin’ candy
from a gorilla
I started thinkin’ man
this ain’t so tough
that’s about the time
that the monkey showed up
Sometimes I can’t find
my heart with both hands
I usually got my head stuck
down in the sand
I start to feel like
I can’t even breathe
What’s the listtle breath of fresh air
blowin’ up my sleeve

Must be my baby hey hey hey
she can make the Mississippi River
run the other way
Must be my baby just in time
how’s she always know when
I’m about to lose my mind

Sometimes it feels like
everything’s a drag
I could not smile my way
out of a wet paper bag
it gets so dark
that the clock stops tickin’
it’s just like night and day
was playin’ chicken
I’m ridin’ on the boiler of a long black train
Tryin’ to find the brakes
in a drivin’ rain
I got smokestack lighnin’ pourin out the funnel
What’s the little light
at the end of the tunnel


Guy Clark, vocals & guitar; Travis Clark, bass; Verlon Thompson, guitar
& harmony vocals; Kenny Malone drums & percussion; Suzi Ragsdale, harmony vocals
Jerry Douglas, dobro