Jason Isbell is changing the face of country music and he made a step toward that goal once again by paying tribute to Guy Clark with a cover of the 73-year-old Texas country songwriter's "Desperadoes Waiting For A Train" for the Austin City Limits TV series.
Guy Clark was inducted into the ACL Hall Of Fame at this year's annual ceremony in June along with Asleep At The Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Towns Van Zandt and Flaco Jimenez. Isbell, who has performed on the program before, was invited to pay tribute to the songwriter for the ceremony in an intimate solo performance. Clark himself was unable to attend the ceremony as he was recovering from surgery.
The 41st season of Austin City Limits begins airing Oct. 3, continuing its streak as the longest running music series of all time. Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Laura Marling, Patty Loveless, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings also took that stage to pay tribute to the other Hall of Fame inductees and are featured on the programs season premire.
According to Rolling Stone Country, Clark's solemn song was written in the '70s and tells the story of an aging oil well driller and his young sidekick, who are able to bridge their age gap through a love of the same cowboy song.
With Isbell behind the mic it almost take on a new meaning. Maybe Isbell is the young guy carrying the torch Guy Clark lit for a new generation of country singers. Isbell is far more inline with the singer-songwriter types influenced by Clark than with the pop-country topping the charts today, so it would be refreshing to think of Isbell as the future of the genre.
Isbell's new 2015 album Something More Than Free has been highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, saying it's on par if not better than his debut solo effort Southeastern. Others have followed him since his days in Drive-By Truckers. No matter how you discover him, Isbell can make the most staunch country hater rethink their stance.