Songs and Stories by Guy Clark

When the oft-overused phrase “it’s the real deal” is used appropriately, it’s to describe the likes of Guy Clark, heralded near-unanimously as a songwriting master. His songs have become hits in the hands of others, but hits aren’t really what he’s about. Guy’s music is best served with few frills, so a live album done in an intimate setting is about as good as it gets.

Here, at Nashville’s storied Belcourt Theatre—a onetime Grand Ole Opry venue and a treasured holdover from cinema’s golden era that perfectly suits his purpose—he takes the stage in his shirtsleeves with a few close cronies. They offer candid and illuminating commentary and knock out a handful of lyrically rich songs in unselfconscious renderings, delighting with their absolute naturalness—truly a rare gift in a fame-driven city like Nashville.

Guy wasn’t kidding when he sang it’s got to come from the heart if you want it to work; here, he and his talented crew prove it, playing and singing like nobody’s watching.

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