On Oct. 3, the long-running music program Austin City Limits returns for another year. The 41st season will kick off with the ACL Hall of Fame induction concert, which was held in Austin back in June. This year’s inductees included Townes Van Zandt, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez and Guy Clark.
Guest artists were invited to play alongside or pay tribute to the inductees. Jason Isbell was one of them. He sang “Desperados Waiting for a Train”, a song Clark wrote in the early 70s. Over the years, several artists, most notably Jerry Jeff Walker and The Highwaymen, have helped make it a country classic. At the induction concert, Isbell paid his tribute.
Clark missed the show due to an illness, and Isbell performed it solo. In the clip below, you’ll see not only Isbell’s stirring interpretation of the song but also his ability to captivate an audience all by himself. He’s a member of the new generation of singer-songwriters who are keeping the spirit of outlaw country and narrative songwriting honed by Clark and his peers in the 70s.
You can watch Isbell performing “Desperados Waiting for a Train” in the video below.