12 O'Clock Track: Guy Clark, "L.A. Freeway" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: Guy Clark, "L.A. Freeway"



Hearing venerable country singer and songwriter Guy Clark deliver the lines "Adios to all this concrete / Gonna get me some dirt road back street" resonates a little louder on a Monday morning in Chicago. First made popular by Jerry Jeff Walker on his 1972 self-titled album, Clark's "L.A. Freeway" is an aching, down-home country tune about high-tailing it out of city life's hustle and bustle and presumably back down to Texas, where Clark was born and raised.

Today's 12 O'Clock Track is the Clark version of the track from his 1975 debut album, Old No. 1. It features his gentle, slightly cracked croon and soft acoustic melodies, both perfect for a back porch in the dusk of summer. Clark uses each verse of "L.A. Freeway" to remind himself why he's leaving for greener pastures, casually working through the stark checklist of what needs to come with him. It's only when the chorus rolls in that the song gains its urgency: "If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught / I'll be down a road in a cloud of smoke to some land I ain't bought."

Time for a vacation, y'all.