I was reading my friend Bad Tempered Zombie’s post about favourite music from 2013, and the first thing that struck me is that most of the music I’ve been listening to was recorded before last year. As I’ve become more and more interested in various strains of traditional music, I don’t think so much in terms of the latest releases.
There are a couple albums from 2013 that I particularly love (I still want to call them records). The first one is Doc: Remembering Doc Watson by the Kruger Brothers. This one is particularly meaningful for Tuffy P and I because we attended Merlefest last spring – the first Merlefest without the late great Doc Watson, who passed in 2012. It was a festival featuring many tributes to Doc by all kinds of players who knew and loved him. We got to see the Kruger Brothers perform at Merlefest, and what a treat that was. Remembering Doc Watson is a beautiful, understated, beautifully played tribute. I could listen to it over and over all day and never tire of it. It includes the following performance with Doc himself…
The second recording from 2013 that gets a lot of play around here is My Favorite Picture of You by Guy Clark. Guy Clark is a great songwriter and a fine performer as well. When I think of Texas singer song-writers a few names come immediately to mind: Townes van Zandt, Steve Earle, Butch Hancock for sure, perhaps Lyle Lovett, but also Guy and Susanna Clark.
Susanna Clark is gone now, and it’s her picture Mr. Clark is holding up on the cover of My Favorite Picture of You. It’s a sparse, laid back, mature and beautiful album. Guy Clark’s voice has a rough edge about it these days – perhaps melancholy, perhaps world-weariness, certainly tenderness.
These are two recordings that are perhaps a bit off the beaten track but both are worth savoring.