When: Sun., Aug. 25, 7 p.m. 2013
Most people who have seen Guy Clark since the late '80s have also seen Verlon Thompson. Aside from being Clark's friend, right-hand man, co-writer and co-producer, Thompson is also a prolific flatpicker and narrative songwriter. The list of big-name artists who have cut his songs includes Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, Pam Tillis, Del McCoury, Trisha Yearwood and Jerry Jeff Walker.
But Thompson's force becomes most apparent when you hear him perform the songs he penned. From the smoking picking on "Joe Walker's Mare" and "Darwettia's Mandolin" to storytelling gems such as "Indian Head Penny" and "Hel Left the Road" to hillbilly toe-tappers such as "Backsliders Blues" and "Asheville Turnaround," Thompson ranks as perhaps the most well-rounded yet overlooked instrumentalist and songwriter beneath the large Americana umbrella. Catch him out front, where he belongs. —Dan Schram