DIARY - 3 JANUARY 2005 - CLINT BLACK
BLACK - STICKY ORWELLIAN CYBER JAM
that my computer knows where I am/ the super highway is a log-on jam/
got super geeks hacking right into my home/ satellites tracking me wherever
I roam." - Haywire - Clint Black-Hayden Nicholas.
Texan actor Clint Black is not the first country artist to parody
extremities of the Orwellian cyber range.
But when Clint and long time writing partner-guitarist Hayden Nicholas
penned Haywire for belated 10th album Spend My Time (Equity-Shock)
they nailed moving targets.
Black frequently hits bullseyes in a music jungle that claimed so
many peers - he has retained his artistic creativity and a proactive
role in production.
He also produced the debut disc by Oklahoma born Nashville Star winner
Clint's early discs featured road band members on originals penned
with Nicholas who worked Texan honky tonks with him from the mid-eighties.
The New Jersey
born, Texas reared troubadour emerged in 1989 with peers diverse as Lyle
Lovett, Steve Earle, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks.
And, like Lovett and Travis, he was smart enough to strut his stuff in
acting, not just singing roles, in movies.
With a string of hits such as Better Man, Killin' Time and No
Time To Kill, the movie transition was easy.
MAVERICK & CADILLAC JACK FAVOR
Clint Black with wife Lisa Hartman
debuted in 1994 in TV show Wings and Maverick before his role in Still
Holding On: The Legend Of Cadillac Jack.
Black wrote the theme song for the 1998 movie about forties rodeo
champ Cadillac Jack Favor.
Favor, long deceased, was jailed for life in Louisiana after being
framed and served eight years before being freed after the real killers,
hitchhikers who stole his car, were found.
Black, husband and duet partner of Hollywood actress Lisa Hartman,
played a doctor in telemovie Going Home, with Jason Robards and Sherry
Clint and Lisa - a singer before she was an actress - have duetted
on his albums.
"It's been years since she sang a lot," he says of Lisa,
who released four albums in the '70s and '80s.
didn't feel like her chops were up to speed. But she's been doing it,
and the fans go crazy."
with RCA five years ago and wrote prolifically for this disc on a label
with not so cryptic title Equity in which he's a partner.
"I had about 35 songs I would like to have put on this album,"
"I narrowed it to 20, and from there I just had to start thinking
about song keys, tempos, and themes. It's not easy to pick some songs
and leave others out. Every song I write, I can't wait for people to hear."
Black's music is steeped in traditional country, with bluesy jazz influences,
dating back to the song She's Leavin' that took 22 years to record.
"It was always in the running when I would go in the studio to do
a new album, but it's always been one of those songs that got eliminated.
What Ever Happened took several different shapes on the way to its final
musical style," Black says.
and I used to get a cabin in the Colorado Mountains, hide out, and write.
For this song we just put ourselves back into that cabin as a heartbroken
shut-in who just isn't going back out in the storm. The snow and mountains
are metaphors for trying at love again."
Clint, now 42, entrees with the title track - a reflection on maximising
middle age - that segues into human frailties on We All Fall Down.
"But we all fall down no matter high we've been/ but the way you
fall will have a lot to say about the way you get back up again."
Black dissects diverse love moods on - Someone Else's Tears (with
Nashville DJ Gerry House) and A Lover's Clown with Steve Wariner.
Imagery is also superb in his co-write with Will Jennings on The Boogie
Man - about a piano player in a Texas roadhouse - wry word play of
A Mind To and cyber stalking in Haywire.
Clint's vocal strength enables him to ignite ballads that might have faded
to, ah Black, in lesser artists' delivery.
FOWLER ON EQUITY
on Equity is Texan troubadour Kevin Fowler whose fourth album Loose,
Loud & Crazy was released late in 2004.
Fowler, who debuted in rock band Dangerous Toys, sold a brace of indie
albums that introduced his songs to major artists.
His second album title track Beer, Bait and Ammo is based on
a sign he saw in a little store on the way to Helotes in Texas.
Four times wed Louisiana singer Sammy Kershaw, fifth husband of Lorrie
Morgan, cut the song.
And fellow Texas Mark Chesnutt cut The Lord Loves the Drinkin'
Man for his new album Savin' The Honky Tonk.
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