Solo version shows soul-food roots of “Texas Cookin'”

I usually favor Guy’s album cuts because they seem to catch his meaning best and he tended to have people like Emmylou hanging around harmonizing, or Waylon sawing away at the top end there in the back of “Anyhow I Love You.”

An exception is the solo acoustic version of “Texas Cookin’ ” that was filmed for “Heartworn Highways,” in which Guy’s bluesy playing makes much more sense to me than what I decided at about the age of 10 was a kinda goofily over-produced album version, its musical style coming out of nowhere with a big banging synthesized sound, practically a comedy or novelty track. (I was, as I have noted elsewhere, a slightly weird 10-year-old.)

Stripped down with some quite lovely playing,  the song’s blues roots stand out clearly. That gives Guy’s little foray into funk here some context that makes sense with the rest of his music.

Guy’s goofiness of course is one of the most wonderful things about him. Watch him bend his body into the music in another clip from “Heartworn Highways” –he’s 33 or 34 years old here:

… and then watch that same goofiness pop up in an interview 27 years later or so. Guy gets playful and nostalgic and then suddenly there’s his young self, weaving around and almost laying his head on Susanna’s shoulder.

Lagniappe: From John Spong in January 2014, here’s what has to be one of the best features ever written about Guy.

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