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Singled Out: Carla Olson's Del Gato (with Gene Clark)


Keavin Wiggins | 04-04-2020

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Carla Olson

Carla Olson just released her new duets album "Have Harmony, Will Travel 2," and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the song "Del Gato" with Gene Clark. Here is the story:

My album Have Harmony, Will Travel 2 was released on March 20th and contains eleven duets with various artists and myself. Seven of the album's cuts are new recordings while four are recordings from years past with the last song being Gene Clark's Del Gato.

The song recounts the saga of an outlaw cowboy who is on the run. The lyric includes:

My name is Del Gato, born close to the border
of white blood and red blood I came
I travel the saddle I follow the cattle
down on the range where they graze
and I just ride in from a hard southwestern drive
my lips parched and bloody
my face torn by sandstorms and pride

Royalties, riches, and interbred bitches
was the brew that I drank as a child
so rebellious a lover, Don Juan as my cover
they die cast my type
called me wild
and I just ride in from a hard southwestern drive
the hanging tree is waiting for me to arrive

I was at Gene's house in 1985 and he was strumming his guitar and started singing this beautiful ballad. When he finished singing the song I asked who wrote this song expecting him to say Woody Guthrie or Marty Robbins or The Sons Of The Pioneers. When he said, "That's a song I wrote with my little brother Rick."

I could barely believe it. Then again he was Gene Clark. Gene and I started our duet singing there in his living room with this song. And those collaborations became our 1987 So Rebellious A Lover album.

(An album that includes Stephen McCarthy of the Long Ryders, Gene's pal from the Byrds Chris Hillman, steel guitar legend Ed Black, bass great Roscoe Beck, Bobby Fuller's brother Randy and producer / drummer Michael Huey.)

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here


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