Music

Rooted in Country: Jamestown Revival on Guy Clark and Willie Nelson

Jackie Lee

Folk duo Jamestown Revival's new album Young Man (out Jan. 14) is a 10-track coming of age tale. Produced by fellow singer-songwriter Robert Ellis, the album centers on aging -- and all the confusion, challenges and wisdom that go along with it.

The duo, made up of childhood friends Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, returned to their Texas roots for the album (their first without electric guitars), recording at Nile City Sound in Fort Worth with engineer Josh Block.

Both Clay and Chance credit homestate heroes with sparking a love for bold, intricate songwriting and unforgettable vocals.

For Jonathan Clay, it was Guy Clark's "Let Him Roll," a song that packs a lifetime of wisdom into four minuts.

"It's almost become a cliche at this point, but I'm going to have to go with a Guy Clark song, 'Let Him Roll.' I also love 'Randall Knife', which feels like some sort of slowed down derivative of 'Let Him Roll,' so I think my fondness flows equally and easily between the two," Clay tells Wide Open Country. "'Let Him Roll' reminds me to stay conscious of the effect we have on other people in our lives.  Things we do that may feel meaningless to us that end up having profound impacts on others.  It also reminds me that perspective changes everything.  I love the fact that the female harlot was the only one to show up at his funeral.  They were almost these estranged soulmates, and who knows what their relationship together could have been like had they met under different circumstances.  I think he may have loved her more than she was able to love herself.  Sure, I'm filling in the blanks here, but isn't that what a truly great song does?  It compels and absolutely captivates you with a snapshot into a different world.  Guy Clark does that for me like no other songwriter does."

Zach Chance credits yet another Texas legend, Willie Nelson, and his rendition of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain."

"While Willie didn't write it [Fred Rose wrote 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain'], I don't think a better vehicle could exist for this song than Trigger and the lazy cadence of Willie Nelson's voice," Chance says. "There is something about how this song is recorded that paints such a wonderful picture in my mind, hands down one of my favorite songs of all time and one that always moves me."

Read More: Rooted in Country: Hannah Dasher on Eric Church's Sinners Like Me'

Young Man is Jamestown Revival's fourth full-length studio album. The duo previously released Utah, The Education of a Wandering Man and San Isabel.

Jamestown Revival is currently on tour, with dates scheduled at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas and Nashville's Brooklyn Bowl.

See a full list of tour dates here.

 

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Rooted in Country: Jamestown Revival on Guy Clark and Willie Nelson