Ben de la Cour Premieres New Song “Guy Clark’s Fiddle”

Photo courtesy of the artist

Sometimes musical urban legends are just that — little pieces of an artist’s mythology that may never be proven true. They can still be great fodder for songwriting inspiration, though, as Nashville-by-way-of-Brooklyn artist Ben de la Cour discovered when writing for his forthcoming album The High Cost Of Living Strange (out April 6).

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On new track “Guy Clark’s Fiddle,” de la Cour took a secondhand story about the beloved songwriter and made it his own, only finding the necessary inspiration to finish the tune after Clark’s passing in 2016. The plaintive story-song showcases de la Cour’s affecting, plainspoken vocals and narrative lyricism.

“I heard a story about how Guy Clark kept this fiddle in his workshop,” he says. “Supposedly he’d smashed it to pieces in the ’70s but kept it around as a reminder to never break a musical instrument. I thought that was great. So I had the idea for the song rolling around in my head for a while, and when I sat down to write it all came really fast, except for the second verse.

“The second verse took about six months. I finished it right after Guy died, at the Kerrville Folk Festival, and the next year I came back and played it on the main stage as part of a memorial to him. I went on just before Verlon Thompson, and he came up to me afterwards and said ‘I’m really glad someone wrote that song — I’ve been looking at that damn fiddle for twenty years!'”

Listen to “Guy Clark’s Fiddle” and see de la Cour’s upcoming tour dates below.

Tour dates:

February 9 – Little Rock, AR – White Water Tavern

February 10 – Mobile, AL – Satori Coffeehouse

February 13 – Nashville, TN – The Local

February 14 – Knoxville, TN – Barley’s Taproom

February 15 – Newport, KY – The Southgate House Revival

February 16 – Rochester, NY – Bop Shop Records

February 18 – Cambridge, MA – Atwood’s Tavern

February 19 – New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine

February 20 – Washington, DC – Hill Country DC

February 21 – New York, NY – Hill Country Live

February 22 – Buffalo, NY – Sportsmen’s Tavern

February 23 – Livonia, MI – Trinity House Theatre

February 24 – Pittsburgh, PA – House Show

April 26 – Berwyn, IL – Fitzgerald’s Sidebar

April 27 – Fort Atkinson, WI – Cafe Carpe

April 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Sweeney Todd’s

May 3 – Pensacola, FL – WUWF Radio Live

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