If you could choose 4 heads to comprise a Mount Rushmore-type tribute to American Singer-Songwriters(includes Canada and Mexico), who would they be?
Paul Simon (Senior Partner)
Bruce Springsteen (Senior Partner)
Patty Griffin (Associate Partner)
Ellis Paul (Associate Partner)
Ron Sexsmith (Backup Partner)
I hate to end what has been an entertaining and interesting discussion, but the real answer is John Prine, Guy Clark, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt.
After huge deliberation and contemplation I cannot limit mine to four, so I wondered about a literal versus metaphorical split: We could have a Stone Mountain with four of the cleanest living greats, and then a Stoner Mountain, with four that have had their inspiration ... assisted. Allows us to double our picks! But, darn it, where could we put the Great Reformed Ones? A third Mountain? And then, maybe in dakota, A Black Hill? Wait! A whole new post on all the different Mountains ..... One face for every Mesa in New Mexico? Or let the geology determine the faces? You know, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Volcanic, Red Stone, Fossilized ... (I can think of a few for that one), Volcanic would be fun ....
And then I thought maybe it could be carved somewhere like New Zealand, which is Earthquake prone, and then, every once in a while a face might fall ... and we could reselect one ....
You may have picked up on the fact that I have terrible trouble devising lists .....
Billy Joe Shaver
Townes Van Zandt
Jim Cuddy Greg Keelor Tom T Hall Jerry Jeff Walker
For me it has to be Chuck Berry,Bob Dylan,Elvis Costello,Richard Thompson and Nick Lowe...I could name Warren Zevon and Frank Zappa,but they've already been mentioned.I know I'm leaving a lot of great ones,too.How many can you name anyway?? How about an honorable mention? Loudon Wainwright 3rd,Lyle Lovett and John Haitt,Joni Mitchell....
Sorry,I just saw that you can name 4...oops!
Gary, it's amazing to me, but I think you're the first person besides me to mention John Hiatt!
DAY-UHM, this is a good one! I know that in the historical sense, leaving Dylan & Neil & Bruce off this list is a crime, but these folks are my personal favorites as far as their writing goes:
1) Joni Mitchell - Because she influenced everyone on this list, and even people like Jimmy Page who aren't.
2) Townes Van Zandt - If only for that clip of "Waiting Around To Die," where his elderly neighbor listens and cries.
3) David Olney - For the songs "1917" and "Dillinger"
4) Guy Clark - Because he's the ultimate craftsman; always there, always plugging away, always solid.