Available On Vinyl For The First Time
Dublin Blues is an album by American singer-songwriter Guy Clark, originally released in 1995.
A mere three years after Boats to Build, Guy Clark offered Dublin Blues, a record filled with sizzle, inspiration, and his
best batch of songs in years. Teaming with Miles Wilkinson for the third time and using in the studio for the first time
his road band -- which included Über guitarist and singer Darrell Scott -- Clark delivered a batch of searing portraits,
intimate observations, first-person narratives, and one dumb throwaway cut ("Baby Took A Limo to Memphis").
As usual, some old friends return to the fold -- Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, Verlon Thompson, Kenny
Malone, and Suzy Ragsdale -- but there were new faces at the time that joined in like Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Nanci
Griffith, and Kathy Mattea.
The magic begins with the title track. Haunted Celtic melodies played on the fiddle and a mandolin with an acoustic
guitar usher in a country song that could be from the countryside of Ireland. With Mattea on the backing vocals,
the listener is transported between worlds in time and space. "Black Diamond Strings" is a friendly little number
about what else: guitar strings! Its catchy hook and singalong chorus make it a Clark winner. "Shut Up and Talk to
Me" features Scott playing the swinging blues as Clark counts off the music like a fierce memory. "Stuff That Works"
is another of Clark's quiet observation tunes, where his words speak volumes and the instruments underline their
meanings. It's a workingman's anthem sung seemingly from the workshop bench. But "Hank Williams Said It Best,"
"Tryin' to Try," "Cape," and "Hangin' Your Life on the Wall" are all tremendous in their scope and intimacy. They are
full of dimension and depth, and Wilkinson gives them textures.
The set ends with a re-recording of the spooky yet shattering elegy "The Randall Knife" Clark cut on Better Days. The
difference here is age. The view Clark sings from is one of distance and age. "The Randall Knife" doesn't feel quite
so spooky this time out, but it does resonate with empathy and even tenderness. As it winds to a close, the listener
is left not in bewildered silence but in awe that such a bond exists at all.
1. Dublin Blues
2. Black Diamond Strings
3. Shut Up And Talk To Me
4. Stuff That Works
5. Hank Williams Said It Best
6. The Cape
7. Baby Took a Limo to Memphis
8. Tryin' To Try
9. Hangin' Your Life On The Wall
10. The Randall Knife